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V. 3 



P E N H A L A 





' GWEN dale's ORDEAL,' ETC. 



Ail rights reserved. 










The Lines Converge . 

• .3 


A Bargain— Petrovskt's Half 

. 38 


The other Man's half 



Ellaline is not afraid 

. 118 


A Mother's Vigil 

. 161 


Petrovsky's Check-mate . 



Clutching at Straws 

. 203 


John sees a way through . 

. 237 


. 275 







When Ellaline's messenger came back 
with the basket from Tregarron Head, 
he brought a tiny note from Mary. 

• I am so glad you did not come near 
this poor fellow,' it ran ; * I am afraid 
he is in for a touch of fever, and, thou^rh 
I have no fear for myself, I think it is 
better and safer, for many reasons, that 
I should hold no further communication 

B 2 


with any of you, until the question of 
infection is put beyond all doubt.' 

She wound up with a request that 
Ellaline would have a bag packed for her 
— just a pair of slippers and some brushes, 
and so forth ; she had already ordered 
up from the town a few household 

Ellaline's face was very long when she 
took this note to her father and Lady 
Glenhaggart, but they pooh-poohed her 
fears — Lady Glenhaggart with a calm 
indifference which suggested that she 
found it impossible to get up any real 
interest in the whims and fancies of a 
person so far her social inferior; Mr. 
Penhala with a good-natured assurance 
that Mrs. Smith was a lady who might be 
trusted to do the right thing, under any 
and every circumstance whatever. 


' Shell come home none the worse for 
her kindness, and a couple of days' rest 
Avill set her up as fresh as a daisy again, 
my dear,' he said, cheerily ; ' and if those 
poor souls really need her so badly, ^ye 
must make up our minds to get along the 
best way we can without her, that's all. 
But we shall miss her terribly all the 

A sentiment which Ellaline echoed 

If Penhala's mind had not been so much 
taken up with other matters just then, he 
would certainly have enquired more par- 
ticularly into this whim of Mrs. Smith's ; 
but with a large party of guests on his 
hands, and his head busy with plans for 
Ellaline's future happiness, it is not sur- 
prising that he had very little thought to 
spare for other matters. And when his mind 


-was not occupied with either of these sub- 
jects, it always went back to one other — 
his son John. 

When he consented to this visit to Carn 
Ruth, he had hoped that all that old misery 
was left too far behind in the long ago, to 
trouble him to any great extent ; but he 
found it was not so. The place was clogged 
with saddest, bitterest memories of the 
boy he had so idolised ; and he found him- 
self wishing a dozen times a day that he 
had not allowed himself to be persuaded 
into revisiting a spot so pregnant to him 
of death and disappointment. 

It was under the influence of this feel- 
ing that he formed the idea of handing the 
estate over to Ellaline on her marriage. 
Pinto must be persuaded into taking the 
name of Penhala, and Penhala's House, 
and the park surrounding it, should be 


Penhala's wedding-present to his adopted 
daughter. After all, it would only be an- 
ticipating matters by a few years, and since 
he could not enjoy the beautiful place 
himself, why should not they ? 

In settling thinpjs thus, he was taking it 
for granted that Lady Glenhaggart would 
not back out of the engagement when she 
heard that Ellaline was not really his 
daughter. But upon that point he did 
not worry himself much. Xobody but Lady 
Glenhaggart herself need know the real 
facts concerning Ellaline's birth — even 
Fitz himself might be kept in ignorance of 
the truth, if her ladyship desired it. 

And her ladyship did desire it, for the 
present at all events. 

' Of course they must both know ul- 
timately,' she said, when Penhala put the 
point to her. 


The discovery that Ellaline was not a 
Penhala was a ghastly blow to her, and it 
needed all the counteracting influences of 
her present surroundings to reconcile her 
to the discovery. Perhaps if Penhala had 
made his announcement before she had 
seen this beautiful house of his, she would 
have drawn back in spite of the money. 
She had always set her heart on Fitz- 
warrene marrying for station. But then 
the possession of such a place as this, must 
of itself confer a certain amount of dis- 
tinction on the owner, and, for the rest, 
who among those whose opinion she cared 
about, was ever likely to hear this hole- 
and-corner mystery concerning Ellaline's 
birth. She had always been accepted as 
Lancelot Penhala's daughter by his second 
wife, what was to start people off on the 
track of the truth now ? And right down 


at the bottom of her mean, shabby mind 
there may have been another argument at 
work, reconciling her to Ellaline's lack of 
birth and breeding — this disadvantage of 
birth, might it not give her a little power 
•over the girl if such a thing were needed 
at any time ? For her ladyship had already 
found out that the pretty child could be 
remarkably self-willed upon occasion, and 
it was quite possible to imagine a state of 
affairs, in which a lever of this kind might 
enable the mother-in-law to maintain her 
supremacy. So her ladyship swallowed 
her consternation as gracefully as she 
could, and diplomatised skilfully for her 
own ends. 

' Of course they must know ultimately,' 
she said, ' but I don't think that just now 
would be the best time to tell them. They 
would be sure to talk it over between 


themselves, and secrets of that kind are 
dangerous things to discuss in a house 
full of visitors. We Avill choose an oppor- 
tunity later on/ 

And Penhala felt bound to leave the 
matter in her hands, though he would 
have preferred that Fitz at least should 
know the whole truth without delay. And 
yet, when all was said and done, it seemed 
cruel to let such worldly considerations 
dim the glory of their love-dream, on the 
very first day of its accomplishment; time 
enough for practical discussions when the 
first rapture of knowing that they be- 
longed to one another was over; they 
would never, in this world at all events, 
get so near to the attainment of perfect 
happiness again ; let them enjoy it as long 
as they could ; prudence and the rest of 
the precious sisterhood could wait. 


And to do Fitz justice he showed every 
disposition to avail himself of the privi- 
leges of his position. He even went the 
length, on that first evening of his engage- 
ment, of leaving the dining-room five 
minutes after the exodus of the ladies, and 
went strolling along the terrace past the 
open drawing-room windows. 

But as long as he was within view from 
the windows, he was careful to carry him- 
self as if he had come that way quite by 
accident. A disinterested observer would 
have sworn he was intent upon admiring 
the sunset over the sea ; but it happened 
that there were no disinterested observers 
at hand at the time : everybody in the 
house knew the exact state of afiairs be- 
tween their hosts daughter and Fitz Pinto, 
and an intelligent smile passed from Hp 
to lip as the young man strolled by with 


that magnificent air of unconsciousness. 
The Baronne de Vieuxbas, a ga}^, ami- 
able little Frenchwoman, one of Lady 
Glenhaggart's friends, was talking with 
Ellaline at the time, but when she saw 
Fitz pass the window, she, too, was seized 
with a sudden desire to watch the sunset 
from the terrace; and nothing would 
please her but that Ellaline should ac- 
company her. Fitz came strolling back 
and found them there; and then he 
reminded them that there were chairs 
a little farther along. La Baronne got 
up 'just to pluck a rose from the wall 
behind her — they were not to move ;' and 
then suddenly there Avas no Baronne nor 
any other creature in the wide world 
but their two selves, and the terrace over- 
hano^ino^ the little fishing harbour was a 


garden of Eden, tenanted by another 
Adam and Eve before the fall. 

The Baronne looked a little unlike her- 
self when she got back to the drawing- 
room, and the lamps and the fashionable 
ladies ; for she had glanced behind her at 
those foolish young people as she stepped 
in through the window, and the sight of 
those two heads, bent so close to one 
another, had reminded her of an incident 
in her own girlhood, and of the esdandre 
that had followed upon it ; the knowledge 
came upon her Avith a shock of pain that 
she would have been a far better woman 
than she was if that little incident had 
been allowed to work itself out to its own 
natural completion, in the fashion that 
held good here, among these English 


The afterglow was quite gone, and the 
evening star was already scintillating 
against a background of steel-blue sky, 
when Ellaline remembered she had duties 
to perform to her father's guests. She 
would not let Fitz enter the room with 
her — she would go in alone, she said, and 
he could find his way in by some other 

So he stood and watched her run up the 
terrace in the direction of the lighted 
windows, and then, just before she reached 
them, he saw her stop and turn towards 
him so suddenly that he guessed some- 
thing was wrong, and ran to meet her. 

' There is a man there,' she gasped, 
breathless with her run and the sudden 
scare. 'He is crouching down between the 
buttress and the stone vase, looking in the 
drawing-room window.' 


' All right !' said Fitz, squeezing her 
hands re-assuringly. ' Don't get fright- 
ened — we'll soon have him out, and 
find out his business. Where did you 

But there was no need for further ex- 
planation from her, for the cause of her 
fright, perhaps knowing himself discover- 
ed, stepped out from the recess that had 
concealed him and faced them, waiting 
their approach. As they came they saw 
him clearly outlined against the luminous 
twilio;ht of the June nio;ht — a tall, broad- 
built fellow, with a mass of wavy hair 
falling from under his limp felt hat to his 
shoulders, and a thick beard reaching half- 
way down his vest. 

' What the dickens are you up to, sir,' 
began Fitz the impetuous, as they drew 
near one another, ' lurking about the place 


after dark, and frightening people out of 
their lives in this fashion ? What's your 
business? Do you know you're tres- 
passing ?* 

The trespasser uncovered, and bent his 
head in Ellaline's direction. 

' I am sorry if I startled the lady,' he 
said, in a low, still voice, which had a 
curious stir of emotion in its tone for all 
its quietness. ' I am a stranger in this 
part of the world, and I've lost my way. 
I came up the steps over the cliff from the 
beach below, and missed my path back to 
the high road. Seeing the lighted win- 
dows, I made for them, meaning to ask 
my way. But you will understand why 
I hesitated when I saw the style of com- 
pany inside there. Perhaps you would 
be kind enough to direct me to the 
servants' entrance.' 


' Oh, Fitz,' said Ellaline, under her 
breath, with her clear, bright eyes fixed 
steadily on the intruder's face, ' it is the 
man we saw at Epsom last week — I am 
sure of it! The man who did the tricks 
with the cards.' 

' By Jove ! so it is !' cried Fitz, mightily 
astonished, thouo;h he could hardly have 
told why. ' What brings you down to 
this out-of-the-way corner of the world, 
Sir Wizard?' 

' The young lady has keen eyes,' said 
the Avizard, with a slight smile at Ellaline, 
a smile which seemed to say that he was 
gratified by her recollection of him. And 
instinctively Ellaline smiled back at him, 
as if it were the most natural thing in the 
world to find herself chatting easily with 
gentlemen of his social standing — she had 
quite forgotten her fright of a moment ago 

VOL. HI. c 


in this recognition of an old acquaintance. 
^ I certainly was at Epsom last week, and 
I am as certainly in Cornwall this. As for 
what brings me here — I might with equal 
reason put the same question to you, sir, 
only — I do not.' 

Fitz laughed in frankest self-accusation. 

' I offer you my best apologies,' he said, 
with a little bow, ironical but wholly good- 
humoured. ' It certainly is no business 
of mine. I'll take you round to the front 
of the house and set you in your right 
road again. Come on !' 

' I wonder,' said Ellaline, and at the 
tirst sound of her voice both the men 
stopped and turned to her ; Fitz handsome 
and happy, and the personification of mas- 
culine elegance, in the absolute faultless- 
ness of his dress and the easy indifference 
of his bearing ; the other shabby to the 


verge of destitution, and with a curious 
blending of caution and recklessness show- 
ing itself in the lines of his face and the 
tones of his voice ; a vagabond all over. 
And yet, as they both turned at Ellaline's 
voice to listen to what she had to say, a 
curious fancy smote her that this shabby, 
dusty wayfarer Avas as truly a gentleman 
as the perfectly-appointed youth at his 
side. It was one of those little touches 
of instinctive knowledge which come at 
times to all of us ; come so clearly and 
unmistakably, in spite of their apparent 
lack of all foundation, as to make the more 
thoughtful ask if we have not after all left 
out of the accepted list of the senses this 
— the most reliable and the least open 
to deception of them all — the sense of 

' I wonder,' said Ellaline, and then, meet- 

c 2 


ing their glances of courteous attention, 
stopped, afraid she was going to take a 
liberty. ' I was going to say,' she went 
on, with a charming little touch of tim- 
idity in her manner, ' that I wondered if 
you would perform some of your tricks 
for us, now, in the drawing-room. It 
would pass half-an-hour most delightfully, 
and if you were not in a hurry ' 

He laughed a little as she paused, one 
of the strangest laughs you ever heard ; 
there was amusement in it certainly, but 
there was suffering too, and, behind both 
these, a touch of dare-devilment. 

' Xo,' he said, grave and courteous again 
in an instant — ' no, I am in no hurry. I 
shall be very proud to give my exhibition 
of magic before such a select audience ; 
and glad to earn the wherewithal to pay 
for a supper into the bargain.' 


Ellaline shrank back a little at that, but 
with surprised pity only. 

' Does the fact of my being hungry 
astonish you ?' he said, with a smile that 
matched his lauo^h of a moment ao-o- 
'Well, I confess that things don't often 
get j^layed so low down as that with me. 
But I have had to spend a lot of money 
this last day or two, and there is not 
much of a fortune to be picked up, in 
the way of chance coppers, in the little 
town under the cliiF there. So I admit 
that your offer of a pitch in the drawing- 
room of Penhala's house is a boon to me, 
little- lady.' 

Her heart was yearning to give him 
into Parson's charge, with orders to sup- 
ply him with a good supper before he 
began his performance; but that instinct 
stepped in again and checked the im- 


pulse. She did not like to suggest that 
he should sup in the servants'-hall, and 
she did not like to offer him payment 
before he had earned it. 

But when he stood revealed in the 
lamplight of the drawing-room, taking up 
his post in the recess of the big bay, with 
the double windows wide open behind 
him, his face and figure thrown into vivid 
relief against the purple background of 
the summer night, she almost repented 
her of her overstrained delicacy. He 
must surely be almost fainting with hun- 
ger, she thought, to give his face such a 
white, strained, rigid look as it wore all 
through his performance. 

As for the entertainment, like most 
unstudied effects, it was a huge success. 

Just as the ladies had grouped them- 
selves in a compact cluster half way down 


the room, tlie gentlemen came in from the 
dining-room ; and after a volley of surprised 
enquiry, they, in turn, grouped themselves 
to the rear of the ladies, and left Monsieur 
le Prestidigitateur, as la Baronne called 
him, a fair field in which to work his 

Lance Penhala leant by the framework 
of the open door, so that there was the 
whole length of the large room between 
him and the conjurer. It seemed to him 
all of a piece with his return home, and 
the vivid memories of the past which that 
return had brought to the surface again, 
that this man should turn up in this hap- 
hazard manner, and give a show of leger- 
demain in that very room where, in the 
dead and gone past, John had so often 
done the same thing. He caught Paul 
watching him once during the entertain- 


ment, and knew he must be thinking the 
same thing ; although after that one glance 
the young man's face became as self-con- 
tained and inscrutable as ever. But they 
were the only two people in the room who 
knew of any reason why this exhibition of 
the wayside wizard's art should be un- 
palatable in that place ; everybody else 
was, or pretended to be, enchanted with 
the little diversion. 

' And the man himself is really not the 
worst part of the display,' said Lady Glen- 
haggart, fanning herself slowly, and speak- 
ing without caring in the least whether 
the subject of her remarks heard them or 
not. ' A thoroughly picturesque vagabond 
from top to toe, and a good-looking face 
into the bargain.' 

' I think his face is more than good- 
looking,' returned the lady she was speak- 


ing to — a ]\Irs. Wentworth, one of her 
married step-daughters — ' it is interesting, 
striking, almost distinguished. I wonder 
what his history is — something out of the 
way, I know. I should like to see the 
shape of his chin and jaw. A beard flat- 
ters some men so tremendously. I expect 
there's a falling off in the lower half of 
the face ; if it were as good all through as 
the part we can see, he wouldn't be here 
to-night, amusing us with card-tricks, on 
the chance of picking up a few shillings 
for his trouble.' 

' Lucy is off on her hobby,' said Fitz, 
who^ with Ellaline, was just behind. ' She 
is never so happy as when she is reckon- 
ing somebody up. If we don't keep an 
eye on our Professor of Magic, Ella, she 
will get hold of him and shave him, to 
find out the shape of his jaw.' 


' Imbecile !' murmured Lucy, with a 
good-humoured glance over her shoulder, 
' Here is a little piece of information for 
you, Mr. Scatterbrain — when you are mar- 
ried, don't attempt to impose too far on 
your wife's good-nature, or ' 

But Fitz gagged her skilfully with his 
handkerchief, and threatened her with 
untold horrors if she dared to venture 
another word on that subject. And Ella- 
line laughingly ran away, and took up 
her stand next to Paul, who was alone, 
as usual, by the mantel-piece, and began 
to tell him how she had found the wizard 
hiding on the terrace, and peeping in at 
the open window. 

And his manner as he listened aston- 
ished her very much indeed. If she had 
not known that the idea was perfectly 
preposterous, she might have thought he 


was frightened- But, then, how or why- 
should Paul be frightened of this poor, 
hungry, wandering wizard ? she asked her- 
self, and laughed at her own fancifulness 
by way of answer. And the terror, or 
surprise, or whatever it was that had 
flashed into his uplifted eyes, was gone 
again before she had time to analyse it, so 
that she was altogether a little mystified 
for the moment. 

And she was to be a very much older 
woman, in many ways, before she found 
out the meaning of Paul Petrovsky's terror 
that night. 

* Hungry, do you say he is?' he asked^ 
when she had finished her pitiful little 
account. ' I'm inclined to think it is a 
got-up affair from beginning to end. 
Pinto should have persuaded you out of 
inviting the fellow in. How do we know 


^vhat his purpose is ? Perhaps, at this very 
moment, he is reckoning up the value of 
the jewellery in the room, and wondering 
how he can find out which is Lady Glen- 
haggart's dressing-room, and how much 
he could get for the diamonds in her ears. 
My dear little Ella, don't look at me in 
such unspeakable indignation ; I won't 
breathe another word against your protege. 
I'll even carry my friendship for the gentle- 
man farther than that — When he has fin- 
ished his hocus-pocus business, I'll take him 
round to some quiet corner in the offices and 
see that he has a good suj^per. And you 
must not be angry with me, if I say that 
I'll also see him safely off the premises 

But Ellaline was too grateful to be 
angry, for by this time she was certain 
that the handsome strolling conjurer was 


faint for want of food, and she liad been 
puzzling her tender heart how to procure 
him a supper in the house, without sub- 
mitting^ him to the ordeal of receivino; 
charity at the hands of the servants. 

When the performance was over Fitz 
took the man in hand, and disappeared 
with him throuc^h the window. But thev 
had not reached the end of the terrace 
before Petrovsky overtook them, and 
offered to become responsible for the safe 
conduct of the stranger; and Fitz, nothing 
loth, yielded up his charge and returned 
to the drawing-room. 

The other two held on their way, silent- 
ly. Just here, on the south-western front 
of the house, it was as dark as it was likely 
to be all night ; but as they reached the 
corner of the house thev came into the 
light of the moon, just rising over the 


plantations. The terrace ended here, and 
in pointing out the steps to his companion 
Petrovsky faced round to him, in a way 
that had some little touch of peculiarity 
in it, and flashed both his hands upwards 
through the air, very much in the manner 
of one warding off an unexpected blow. 

The conjurer did not appear to notice 
either movement, and Paul turned again 
and walked on, with a touch of perplexed 
doubt on his brow. 

' My cousin,' he said, ' the young lady 
whom you startled so unpardonably on 
the terrace, asked me to do the hospitahties 
of the house to you. She said business 
had not been good with you down here, 
and she thought, if 1 asked you to have 
some supper, you would very likely accept 
the invitation.' 


' The young lady is just an angel,' an- 
swered the other jauntily. 

Xow that he was alone with a man, it 
was curious to mark the change in his 
manner. The instinct of the gentleman, so 
quickly aroused in the j^i^esence of Ella- 
line's fresh sweetness and beauty, had 
slipped into its usual place in the back- 
ground, and, except for a certain refine- 
ment of speech, there was nothing in his 
present manner to differentiate him from 
any other member of the vagabond class. 

' Just an angel,' he repeated ; ' and her 
eyes are almost as good to see wdth as 
they are to look at.' 

' Which means that she was right about 
the supper?' 

' You've hit it, governor.' 

' Come along then ! We'll go round to 


the steward's office and get them to send 
us up some beef and pickles.' 

The conjurer burst out laughing — a 
loud, boisterous burst of laughter it was, 
so sudden and so ajjroj^os of nothing, that 
Petrovsky's hand went instinctively to the 
opening of his vest, and closed round 
something that lay hidden there ; as if he 
recognised a danger signal in that unna- 
tural burst of laughter, and would be on 
his guard. 

' I beg your pardon, governor,' said the 
conjurer, stopping his laugh dead in the 
middle as abruptly as he had started it. 
' It's not the best manners in the world to 
burst out laughing without explaining 
why ; but I was tickled at something in 
my own thoughts. The beef and pickles, 
by all means, sir, and in the steward's par- 
lour — as you suggested. And if the butler 


would add a pint of his famous brown 
October — wby, so much the better.' 

Petrovsky answered nothing. The touch 
of reckless audacity in his companion's 
manner strengthened his previous sus- 
picion of the man's mission at Carn Ruth. 
As they moved along side by side, he kept 
a close watch from under his lowered lids 
on the other's every movement, and he 
carried his hand in his vest till they were 
in the steward's parlour, with the lamp lit 
and the table between them. 

The conjurer's little burst of audacious 
mirth was all over and done with by then ; 
he was looking as utterly fagged and worn 
out as he had looked awhile ago, standing ' 
in the big window recess at the end of the 
drawing-room, with the purple of the night 
sky behind him. But presently, when 
the butler addressed the Russian by name, 



his weary apathy broke up for a moment, 
and in its place there came a flash of sur- 
prise, of enlightenment rather, which Paul 
saw, and thought he understood. The 
o^lance was almost one of recognition. 


Petrovskymet it without flinching. Think- 
ing what he thought of the man's mission 
at Carn Ruth, his next observation showed 
the possession of considerable nerve. 

' Yes,' he said, when the door had 
closed behind the butler again, ' Petrovsky 
is my name ; what's yours?' 

' Tom Jones,' returned the other, 

' Well, then — Tom Jones, we will say — 
what object had you in view when you 
were peeping and prying outside there on 
the terrace just now?' 

'What do you think?' 


' Xever mind what I think, I want you 
to tell me.' 

' Seems to me,' said Tom Jones, getting 
up from his chair by the table — to bring 
himself the nearer to the level of the man 
on the hearthrug, as it seemed, or perhaps 
it was to get his own face away from the 
strong light of the lamp — ' seems to me, 
governor, that you've got some queer no- 
tion in your head, concerning my unfortun- 
ate little act of trespass on that terrace 
this evening. It was a simple case of a 
chap in a strange country going astray, I 
do assure you. I'm neither a professional 
burglartakingnotesof the plan of the house, 
nor an outcast relation of any of the upper- 
crust yonder, come to threaten 'em with 
a show-up unless they pay me to clear 
out, and hold my tongue. I'm just what 



you see me — a poor devil who's been down 
on his luck this many long year past, and 
means harm to nobody as long as nobody 
harms him.' 

On the surface of it there was nothing 
in this speech of an agitating nature, and 
yet it did agitate Paul Petrovsky to a curi- 
ous extent. The entrance of the man with 
the supper-tray drew off Tom Jones' atten- 
tion at the moment, or he would certainly 
have wondered to see the sudden illumin- 
ation that lit up the Russian's still face, and 
the sudden tremor that seized on him. 

A stupendous plan had leapt, fully ma- 
tured, into his brain. If this man's account 
of himself were true, w^hy should he not 
serve Paul's end as Avell as another? 

But just then Tom Jones' attention was 
centered on the food ; whatever else about 
him was false or assumed, his hunger was 


genuine enough. During the next ten 
minutes he scarcely glanced at the white 
still face in the big arm-chair by the 
fireplace ; and, in turn, the white still 
face never ceased to watch him. But now 
there was a new purpose in this silent 
watchfulness ; it wore an air of keenest 
investigation ; as if the watcher sought to 
discover the innermost nature of this 
hungry fellow, to find out on which side 
of him lay his weakest point, in which 
direction he was most vulnerable to an 
attack from without. So one watched and 
the other ate, each equally silent, each 
equally busy. 




' Are you often as hungry as that?' asked 
Paul presently, after that long silence, of 
activity on the one hand and observation 
on the other. ' It must be worth while 
going through a good deal for ten minutes 
of such genuine enjoyment.' 

Tom Jones laughed gently. His 
stomach was no longer empty, and being 
always the creature of his moods and im- 
pulses, his blackguardism was consequently 
less rampant for the time being. 


• ' All the same, hunger is an acquaint- 
ance whose frequent visits soon be- 
come monotonous,' he answered, anclheljDecl 
himself to some cheese. 

And Paul, watching, saw that he took 
a clean knife instead of the one he already 
had in use, and gave a thought to the story 
of the fugitive prince, who wiped his beard 
before he drank. 

' What brought you down to this ?' he 
asked, abruptly. ' One doesn't need to be 
as keen as a fox, to see that you've come a 
very long way down from your original 
standing. You've made a pretty mess of 
matters somehow, eh?' 

' Yes,' replied Tom Jones ; ' I've come a 
regular mucker, there's no mistake about 
that ! But it's so long ago now, that as 
often as not I forget all about it.' 

Paul took another look at his handsome 


brown eyes — handsome still, for all the 
tracery of lines about them — and the deli- 
cate curve of his brows, and the sensitive 
arch of his nostrils, and then made a 

' A woman, was it?' 

' Ay, the final cause was a woman — 
though, for the matter of that, so^was the 

^ Put all your eggs into one basket, 
eh ?' said Paul, pithily. 

' All I'd got left — yes. It wasn't much 
to boast of, that last lot, but it was all I'd 
got — my last rag of respectability, my last 
hope of going a bit straight, my last scrap 
of belief in anything good or holy under 
God's sun — but they all went into the one 
basket, and — it wouldn't hold 'em — too 
frail — it burst — and the eo^o^s Avent to 
almighty smash.' 


Paul watched him finish his last piece of 
€heese — he was eating daintily now, taking 
time to enjoy the toothsome morsels, in- 
stead of thinking only of filling a yawning 
vacuum down below — before he spoke 

' When all's said and done, it must be a 
poor sort of existence — this wandering up 
and down the face of the country.' 

' Poor? God ! if you could know what 
it's like sometimes ! But there, I'm not 
o^oino; to beo^in the whinino* dodo;e. It's 
fair wage for work done, you see, and 
that's the end of it.' 

' Still, it seems strange to me, that a man 
like you — a man who has had a decent 
bringing-up, at all events — should be con- 
tent to stay down there, at the very bottom 
of the ladder.' 

' Content?' With a ram liftino; of the 


fine brows. ' That's a queer word to apply 
to me.' 

* Well then, if you're not content, why 
stay there?' 

Tom eJones' fingers stopped their ner- 
vous fiddling at the crumbs on the cloth, 
and his hand gradually closed up tight, 
till the knuckles stood out white and shiny 
under the strained skin. Then he lifted 
the clenched hand and struck the table a 
quick, passionate blow, as if the agony in- 
side him must needs find an outlet some- 

' Why do the damned stay in hell ? 
Answer me that!' he muttered, hoarsely. 

' Then you would get out if you 

' Pooh ! what's the use of talking ?' He 
got up and reached across the table for his 
cap, and turned as if to go. 


But Paul rose too, and signed to him not 
to be so hasty. 

' What would you do if you had five 
hundred pounds?' he asked, quietly. 

The other fell back a step, as if the words 
had been a blow ; and then, gathering some 
shred of credibility from the look on the 
other's face, he drew a big breath. 

' Do ?' he said. ' Do ? Get out of the 
country as fast as I could.' 

The words came with a rush, and left him 
still and wide-eyed, waiting for more. 

' And what would you do for five hun- 
dred pounds ?' 

• Ah ! You told the wages first — the 
work comes afterwards. That means that 
you know the work would be declined un- 
less the workman had been first dazzled 
by the wages. It's something discreditable 
you want me to do ; that's certain. Per- 


Laps it's even something criminal. No?' 
Paul had shaken his head. ' Well, there's 
very few things I wouldn't do for five 
hundred pounds, so out with it !' 

' I want you to help me to set a great 
wrong right.' Tom Jones laughed in 
his throat. ' Yes, by the Cause I serve, 
I swear to you that, first and foremost, that 
is so ! An old man in his dotage is striv- 
ing to do his lawful heir out of his inherit- 
ance. I want your help to prevent this 
injustice. There are other motives, I admit; 
but this is one, and a genuine one, and, in 
view of the price I am willing to pay, it 
ought to be enough for you.' 

A new quietness fell swiftly on the dusty 
vagabond by the table ; this time not the 
quietness of inanition, but the stillness of 
muscle which often accom^^anies concen- 

PENH ALA. 45' 

trated activity of the brain. His eye was 
steady and clear as he put his next 

' You will tell me who the people are for 
whom I am going to work?' 

' When you have undertaken to do what 
I want, and pledged yourself to secrecy. 
Though indeed your own self-interest will 
be your best pledge for that.' 

' And there is no risk to me — no person- 
al risk?' 

' Xone whatever.' 

' And you will pay me the five hundred 
down, for some particular job — some defi- 
nite task that you set me to do — you will 
pay me the money when it is done, and 
leave me free to go my way ?' 

' You are longer in the head than I 
thought,' said Petrovsky, with the reflec- 


tion of a mental smile in his eyes. ' Let 
me think a moment before I answer that 

He turned away and crossed over to 
the window, and stood there a few seconds 
staring out into the empty courtyard, on 
to which the room o]3ened. Then, as if he 
found free thought difficult there, in the 
confined space of the small room, he moved 
to the door, and signed to the other to 
follow him. 

' I'll get a hat,' he said ; ' and we can 
finish our talk as I show you the way to 
the lodge gates. This thing once started, 
there must be no possibility of its missing 
its aim. You must be thoroughly coached 
up in all that it is necessary you should 
know. Come along !' 

This time they did not pass through the 


leno;th of the house to reach the open air; 
they went out by the entrance communi- 
cating directly with the offices, and fol- 
lowed a road which led round that end of 
the house farthest from the west terrace 
and slopes ; a road which skirted round 
the outer limits of the plantations, and 
joined the main drive at the bridge, half- 
way between the house and the lodge. It 
was a quiet road, lying in shadow all the 
way till the bridge was reached. After 
that it was merged in the more important 
drive, which travelled across the open park 
land, sloping gently towards the little town 
at the foot of the hill. 

Petrovsky. did not go further than the 
bridge ; perhaps it was because he felt 
more at home stealing along in the shadow 
of the trees, than on the exposed road in 


the light of the moon. He halted at the 
edge of the wood, and waited before turn- 
ing back, to add a last word or two to all 
that had gone before. 

' You understand that, though circum- 
stances compel me to keep in the back- 
ground, it is nothing more than justice 
that I am striving for?' 

Yes, his companion signified assent to 

' And the one thing I count on you to do, 
is to break off the match between the girl 
and the son of this lady of rank. See that 
you make the disclosure of the truth as ob- 
jectionable as you possibly can. Above 
all, be afraid of nothing ! I have made all 
due enquiries of the woman in whose house 
the girl was born, and, with regard to her 
true parentage, nobody knows anything 
whatever. You have a perfectly free hand ; 


you can play it as you like, without the 
slightest fear of being out-trumped by your 
antagonist's cards. That is all, I think. 
There is nothing else you want to know?' 

No ; there was nothing else. He was 
fully primed for the task in hand ; and 
having said as much the shabby rascal 
answered the other's ' Good night,' and 
strode away in the direction of the lodge. 

But when he had gone some distance,, 
and was well out on the open ground, he 
pulled up with a sudden jerk, as if some 
new thought had struck him, and looked 
around him. 

Yes ; he really was there, in Penhala's 
park, and he really had undertaken to do 
this thing for Paul Petrovsky ! 

Once again he burst into laughter, as if 
he found something exquisitely droll in 
the whole idea. Very uncanny the sudden 



outburst sounded, breaking tbus vehement- 
ly across tbe silence of the night ; and it 
was curious how the clamour, striking 
some rock or headland across the little bay, 
came back to him. But so purged and 
chastened, so wasted was it by the way, 
that it did not sound like the reckless 
laugh he had sent forth. It came back to 
him a sound so sad and desolate, so for- 
lorn, so utterly lost, that it seemed to him 
as if his own castaway soul were laughing 
back at him out of space. 

A weird idea to come to a man standing 
by himself in a lonely place in the middle 
of the night. 

It stilled him. For some minutes he 
waited there debating, half unconsciously, 
many things. 

Then he threw off the touch of solemn- 
ity, and moved on again towards the lodge. 


But that echo had awakened others of 
its kind ; and these others were not to be 
so easily silenced. 

He fancied he knew the very headland 
that had thrown his laugh of defiance back 
at him. It was a sharp elbow of slate rock 
that stood out, a little this side of Tregar- 
ron Head. He remembered how grim and 
black it looked ao'ainst the o;reen bank 
beyond it. 

X new desire came to him. He would 
like to see it under this moonlight. He 
turned swiftly on his heel, and went back 
the Avay he had come. 

Mr. Petrovsky was late getting back to 
the house again that night. But Parsons 
had been so shocked at the idea of his 
being shut out, and having to spend the 
whole night roaming the woods, that he 

E 2 


had given special orders to Mrs. Quickl}- 
to make sure, for the future, that the young 
man was in his room before the house was 
finally closed. But for this precaution, 
when he came strolling up to the porch a 
little after midnight, he would have found 
the door closed against him for the second 
time. As it was, he found that his uncle's 
room, at all events, was closed against him ; 
a circumstance which, so long as he stood 
face to face with the servants, appeared to 
cause him the keenest annoyance. It was 
not until he was alone in his room that he 
ceased to fume and worry, and then he 
turned from closing his door with a mut- 
tered — ' So far, so good ! Let the bomb 
burst without the slightest warning, so 
shall its execution be the more effective 
and complete.' 

Perhaps it was in consequence of his 


late wanderings afield tliat he was late 
down the next morning. When he made 
his appearance, with an apology for his 
want of punctuality, nearly everybody in 
the house was already gathered round 
the breakfast-table. 

' The fact is I was out late last night, and 
I overslept myself,' he said, in reply to 
Penhala's expression of astonishment — for 
laziness was certainly not one of Paul's 
little sins. ' I undertook to see our friend, 
the wizard, off the premises, and we got 
into conversation, and — I did not get back 
to the house till some most unholy hour.' 

' I wondered where you had disappeared 
to,' Penhala observed, carelessly. ' The 
fellow turned out very good company, 
then ?' 

Paul shot a curious glance at the 
speaker, a glance which warned him that 


the subject was not one to be pursued. 
' I found his conversation interesting/ 
he said, with a certain dryness of intonation 
which inferred that more lay behind. And 
then, as if starting a fresh subject, he 
added — ' I did not like to disturb you when 
1 came in, sir, but I heard some news last 
night that astonished me very much. I 
want to talk it over with you by-and-bye. 
Xo, Lady Glenhaggart,' he went on, meet- 
ing her ladyship's inquisitive glance with 
a smile, ' wild horses shall not drag it 
from me till I have first discussed it with 
my uncle. Hark ! What is that ?' 

There fell a sudden hush round the 
table, a hush of attention. Outside in 
the hall there were voices raised in 
vehement altercation. 

' I tell you, you must wait !' 'I tell 
you, I won't!' ' But they are at breakfast!' 


' I don't care what thev are at, I'm fifoiijcr 
to see Mr. Penliala this minute!' 'He 
will see you by-ancl-bye.' ' Blow your 
by-ancl-byes ! My business can't wait. By 
the Lord above, if you don't stand away 
from the door, I'll bash your skull in !' 

There was a scurrying of feet, as if 
somebody had been swung out of some 
other body's way, the screen before the 
door was dashed back with a violent blow 
against the wall, and the surprised people 
round the table saw their entertainer of 
the previous evening standing in the open- 
ing. Shabbier by many degrees he looked 
in the uncompromising morning light, and 
altogether less attractive. As he stood there, 
reckless and defiant, with his hat twisted 
over one ear, his whole appearance was 
suggestive of an early and injudicious ap- 
plication of Pinto's over-night generosity. 


Sweeping the circle of amazed faces witli 
a glance of swaggering audacity, lie nodded 

Fitz and Paul rose to their feet as by 
one impulse. 

' What the dickens — is the fellow drunk ?' 
said Fitz. 

Paul crossed quickly towards the door. 
' Not noAv!' he said, aloud. ' You told 
me you would wait !' 

' Oh, there you are !' cried the vagabond, 
with a tipsy laugh. ' Pm glad to see you. 
You'll do the introducing part of the busi- 
ness, and save us from any further awk- 
wardness. Wait? I believe I did say 
something about it; but you see my 
paternal instincts were too much for me 
this morning, and I couldn't wait any 
longer. Now then, which one is it, eh? 
Come, old chap, tell the people who I am !' 


Now that the other had taken the lead, 
Pinto hung back a little, not liking to 
interfere, but his fingers were evidently 
itching to be at the intruder's collar. 
Everybody round the table was up, the 
ladies a little scared, the men only wait- 
ino: for a hint to oro^anise a combined 

'What does it all mean, Paul?' said 
Penhala, moving forward. ' You seem to 
be in the secret — what does this gentle- 
man want?' 

'He wants his daughter!' put in Tom 
Jones, taking off his hat with a grandiose 
sweep of the arm in Penhala's direction. 
' Put short, that's the whole of the matter. 
He wants his daughter, Mr. Penhala. The 
babby who was born seventeen years ago, 
down in the town there, and adopted by 
you in the place of your own, who died at 


i ts birth — his daughter, who's been known 
all these years as your daughter — that's 
what this gentleman wants.' 

Lady Glenhaggart dropped to her chair 
as if she had been shot. On the least 
enccuragement she would have fainted^ 
but there was none forthcoming; every- 
body's attention was otherwise engaged. 

Penhala 's face had gone the colour of wood 
ashes ; he threw up his hands as if to stop 
the cruel disclosure ; but there was no 
stopping it. Everybody in the room heard ^ 
and everybody saw corroboration of what 
they heard in his stricken agony. 

Ellaline was the first to break the stony 
spell that had fallen on them all. 

She was near Penhala, and after one or 
two quick glances from one face to another, 
she put her hands up to her throat, driving 
back the sickening sensation of strangu- 


lation that threatened to overcume her, and 
went over to his side. 

' Dearest, don't look like that!' she begged 
of him. ' Look at me ! I don't feel it so 
much as yon, and it is more sudden and 
terrible for me, you know.' 

He did look at her, and moaned and 
turned from her again, as if the sight of 
her face, with that smile on it, was more 
than he could endure. But she put one 
hand under his arm, and with the other 
clasped his, hanging nerveless at his side, 
and, standing so, she faced the disreput- 
able ruffian at the door. 

' Whether you're my father or not,' she 
said, ' you have behaved most cruelly in 
coming here like this, and springing this 
surprise on us without a word of warning. 
Mr. Penhala has cared for me all these 
years, and you have not troubled yourself 


about me once, till now, Avhen you come 
peeping and prying round the house like 
a thief in the dark. I don't think what 
you say can be true — you would have be- 
haved diiferently ; but, true or not, your 
conduct this morning has been brutal — 
unpardonable — the conduct of a cruel 
man. If I am your daughter,' — it was 
wonderful to see how, as she spoke the 
obnoxious words, her strength of will 
overcame her repugnance — ' if I am your 
daughter, you owe this gentleman a debt 
of gratitude, which no words could ever 
express, for his immeasurable goodness 
to me. And you pay it by coming here 
and creating a nine days' scandal in the 
presence of all his friends. I hope it is 
all a mistake — I pray it may all turn out 
a mistake. I am ashamed of you, and it 


must be terrible to be ashamed of one's 

Tom Jones tried to laugh and treat the 
girlish harangue as a joke. Pinto's bands 
doubled up of themselves instinctively. 
Paul kept his post between them, mutter- 
ing something about a row not improving 

Penhala put his arm round his little 
champion's shoulders, and held her to 
him. The first stun of the disclosure was 
past; as he turned to his friends at the 
table, he was himself again. 

' Don't let this business disturb you,' he 
said. ' It is purely a matter for arrange- 
ment between this gentleman and me. I 
expect it has surprised you very much to 
find that my little girl is not really my 
daughter. I thought, when we came down 

•62 PENH ALA. 

liere, that something of this sort would 
happen ; that was one reason why I kept 
away so long. I do hope you won't let 
this scene at all interfere with the pleas- 
ure of your visit, any of you. We will 
manage to settle matters without intruding 
them on your notice again.' 

' Will you, though,' began the man at 
the door, but Fitz and Paul both turned 
on him with such unmistakable signs of 
their intentions in their looks, that he 
stopped and shrugged his shoulders. 

' But, my dear Mr. Penhala,' cried Lady 
Glenhaggart, alive to the necessity of get- 
ting out of her present dangerous position 
with as little delay as possible, ' think of 
me ! It is all very well for the rest of 
you, but think what a position I am placed 


'• But, Lady Glenhaggart, you knew !' 

' Knew there was a mystery, yes.' Her 
voice was plaintive to pathos, and her 
handkerchief was at her eyes with every 
other word. Her disappointment was 
genuine enough. A quarter-of-a-million, 
and such a house ! ' The mystery I could 
have endured, but it is a mystery no 
longer. I put it to anybody — should I be 
doing my duty, as the stewardess of my 
dead husband's wealth, and as that boy's 
mother, if I allowed him to incur the re- 
sponsiblity of such a father-in-law as that? 
I cannot consent to leave the matter in 
doubt for a moment, Fitzwarrene and I 
return to town to-day.' 

This drew Fitzwarrene's blood-thirsty 
regards away from his victim at once. 

• Xo, I'm dashed if w^e do, mother,' he 

64 PEXmVLA. 

said, with more emphasis than elegance. 
' At least, I speak for myself. If Mr. 
Penhala or Ella can make any use of me 
in this unfortunate muddle, I'm at their 
service. This affair doesn't alter existing 
arrangements a bit, it's nonsense to think 
it could !' 

He crossed straight over to Ellaline and 
took her hand, and smiled down at her. 
But she could hardly see the smile for her 
tears, tears of pride in him, her chivalrous 
young lover. 

Lady Glenhaggart lifted her handker- 
chief to her eyes again. 

' I hope you don't intend to inflict any 
heroics upon us, Fitzwarrene,' she mur- 
mured, desolately. ' My nerves are shat- 
tered already. A display of theatrical 
sentiment would be more than I could 
endure. Have the goodness to find out if 


there is any possibility of our reachiiig 
town to-night.' 

Fitzwarrene carried his sweetheart's 
cold little hand up to his lips. 

' I will be back with you in ^ve min- 
utes,' he said, and crossed over to his 

' Let me take you to your room, mother,^ 
he said, quietly. ' This isn't the time to 
trouble Mr. Penhala with our little differ- 
ences of opinion. You'll see things in 
another light when you've pulled round a 

' I shall never see them in any other 
light,' she said, rigidly, as she took his 
arm, and so went from the room with her 
handkerchief still to her eyes. 

Which clever little device robbed the 
exit of all awkwardness, so far as she was 
individually concerned. About any other 

VOL. II r. r 


feature of the situation she was not likely 
to concern herself. 

' Lady Glenhaggart has expressed her- 
self rather unfortunately,' said Lucy Went- 
worth, trying not to look as ashamed of 
her step-mother as she felt, ' but I dare- 
say she is right in the main point, Mr. 
Penhala. In this crisis you would rather 
have our room than our company. Oh, 
please don't trouble to be polite ! We all 
know what a blow this must be for you, 
and I'm certain you cant be in the mood 
to play the host to a lot of visitors. If 
we all run away as fast as we can, you 
mustn't think it's because we want to cut 
poor little Ella. I agree with Fitz — i think 
it's nonsense to imagine this discovery can 
make any real difference, and I hope you'll 
bring her to see me as soon as you come 


back to town. I, personally, am going 
because I should feel myself horribly in 
your way, while you've got this worry on 
your mind, and I expect we all feel some- 
thing of the same kind.' 

Penhala met the kindly little advance 
very gratefully on Ellaline's account. 

Paul had carried the cause of all the 
hubbub off to the library, and there was a 
very cordial little ten minutes in the 
-dining-room, between host and guests, 
before Penhala followed them there. 

Ellaline he sent away to her own room, 
with orders not to show herself till sent 

' My dear, you're not to frighten your- 
self,' he said, as he parted with her at the 
foot of the stairs. ' If the fellow were 
forty times your father, I wouldn't give you 

F 2 


up into his possession till we'd fouf^ht the 
thing out to the very end. Months, that 
Avould take, Ella; and in that time dozens 
of things might happen to spoil his claim. 
Perhaps, before then, Pinto will put in a 
claim of his own, you know — a husband's 
claim comes before anybody's. It will all 
come right in the end, my birdie, and you 
and Fitz will only love one another all the 
better for the passing cloud. I'm sorry, 
noAv, that I ever made a secret of the 
wretched business.' 

But on that point Ellaline would not 
hear him. 

To her he had always been the dearest 
father mrl ever had. Whatever he had 
done, he had done for the best, and it was 
best. Her childhood would never have 
been the beautiful thing it had, if she had 


known this fear was hanging over her. 
Whereas now, whatever happened, she 
would always have that time of perfect 
happiness to look back to. He had done 
quite right to keep the secret ; she thanked 
him for that, as she thanked him for all 
the rest of his numberless goodnesses to 

But as he went on to the library, with 
her close, eager kisses warm on his lips, 
he still shook his head. He could not 
divest his mind of the idea that, in leaving 
her open to the possibility of such a shock 
as this, he had deeply wronged her. 

And meantime, between Paul and his 
charge, shut up together in the library, 
there had been a tremendous scene. 

Tom Jones was already sick of his job, 
and wanted to back out of his baro;ain. 

70 PENHAL(\.. 

He was not so drunk, nor half so drunk^ 
as he had pretended, and, for some occult 
reason, Ellaline's trouncing had got at his 
conscience, and stirred him up to a swift 

' Look here !' he exclaimed, turning 
round on Paul before the library-door was 
fairly closed between them and the open- 
mouthed servants in the hall, ' you'll have 
to let me off the rest of this ! I've had 
enough of it ! You'll have to finish the 
job by yourself. I wouldn't go on with it 
for ten times the money.' 

Paul went livid. 

' You mean to throw me over ?' 

' No,' said Jones, tossing his dusty hat 
on to the nearest table, and thrusting his 
hand deep in his pocket, and stamping 
about the room like a caged beast, ' no ; 
not exactly that — I'll keep my oath of 


secrecy, but I won't go on with my share 
of the business. I tell you you're not 
going to set me up again, for that child to 
make a target of. I've done a good many 
mean things in my life, God knows, and 
never flinched ; but this one is beyond me. 
I won't stand up before that girl's re- 
proaches again, not if I know it ! The 
poor, grieved little soul ! Did you see 
the way she looked at young pepper-pod, 
when he put his spoke in ? Hang it all I 
I wouldn't have done what I did — no, I 
wouldn't — not for five thousand, if I'd 

Petrovsky turned the key in the door, 
and came over and planted himself in the 
fuming man's path. 

' Mr. Penhala will be here directly,' he 
said, ' there's no time for discussion. 
You've got to carry this thing out.' 


' Xo, I won't ! I'll see you to blazes 

' I tell you, you can't draw back now ! 
Besides, it would be no use — the mis- 
chief is done — the match is off, you heard 
what the boy's mother said; for all her 
weepings and faintings, she is a woman 
with a will of iron, and the money is all in 
her hands.' 

' Very good ! Then your purpose is 
gained. You can do the rest without 

' And the five hundred pounds ?' 

' Damn your five hundred pounds ! I 
tell you I'm sick of the business ! I 
won't have any more to do with it !' 

' You must stay and have this interview 
with Mr. Penhala.' 

Tom Jones stood quiet, cogitating. 
Paul went on. 


• Your staying can do neither good nor 
harm to the girl now. The main point of 
the disclosure being true, it doesn't make 
much difference whether the disreputable 
father remains on the scene or not.' 

Til face it out with Penhala — ' in the 
midst of all this turmoil, Paul noticed the 
unceremonious address — ' but I won't face 
the girl's contempt again.' 

' Very well. You shan't be brought in 
contact with her again, I give you my word 
on that ! Only stand by until Lady Glen- 
ha^r^art has taken her son out of harm's 
way, and I'll stand to my half of the bar- 
gain. So far you've managed admirably. 
That touch . of intoxication was a happy 

ought on your part.' 

Tom Jones turned on his heel, and 
walked off sulkily to the window. The 
memory of Ellaline's biting scorn was stil. 


rankling in Hm. He could not glory in 
his blackguardism with the recollection of 
her shamed disgust still fresh in his 




By midday all Penhala's guests, witli the 
exception of Fitz, had taken their depar- 
ture. Lady Glenhaggart's son had proved 
obstinate beyond his mother's worst an- 
ticipation, and was not to be frightened 
out of the position he had taken up by the 
strongest threat in the maternal voca- 

' When Mr. Penhala heard that she 
meant to cut him adrift, without even 
the traditional shilling, he would most 


likely send him about his business smartly 
enough,' he told her. 

' But he must leave him to take the initia- 
tive. As for cutting off, all in a hurry, 
and turning his back on the girl who had 
promised to marry him, the moment things 
went a little crooked with her — well, he 
hadn't got the cheek to do it ; and that was 
the plain English of it ! Of course his 
mother would do as she thought right about 
the money ; and he wasn't going to act the 
humbug, and pretend he didn't care ; be- 
cause he did, he cared just as much as 
anyone else would ; and he would do a 
good deal to please her, as she knew ; 
but this one thing he couldn't do, and 
there was an end of it.' 

So her ladyship went off with the rest 
of the smart crowd, London wards, and left 


her son in the hands of the Philistines. 

After he had, ^vith all due politeness, 
seen his mother off, he went to seek out 
Mr. Penhala, and tell him what he had 
done. He found him in his own study, 
discussing matters with Petrovsky. Jones 
was not visible. 

For once Fitz was genuinely despon- 

' You see, Mr. Penhala, I know exactly 
what a fool I am,' he said ; ' I know Pm 
no catch for any girl, without my father's 
money to back me. If Pd got enough of 
my own to keep us in bread-and-cheese, 
Pd ask you to give Ella to me now, at 
once. But as things are now, Pm afraid 
we shall have to wait a bit. Pll try to 
get a post as secretary, or something of 
that kind — it can't be very difficult to 


write a man's letters for liim — and the 
minute I can see my way to put a roof 
over her head, I'll come for her.', 

Penhala put out his hand across the 
table, and Fitz gripped it heartily. 

* Do you think it is wise to offend your 
mother like this ?' he asked. 

Poor Fitz laughed, as if he found the 
question altogether too much for him. 

' Of course I don't think it wise,' he 
said, 'but what is a fellow to do? If 
Ella is afraid to trust to me to do the best 
I can for her, she shall have her promise 
back, and welcome; only — I hoped — I 
thought, perhaps, she cared for me enough 
to take me and face the pinch.' 

' But, my dear Fitz, have you forgotten 
that Ella is my heiress ?' 

' But, now ?' cried Fitz. ' Not now ?' 

' Why not ? You don't seem to re- 


member that this discovery, which has 
fallen upon you all -like a clap of thun- 
der, is to me no discovery at all. I, at 
least, have always known that Ella was 
not my own child. I knew it when I 
made my will in her favour; the mere 
fact of her father turning up in this un- 
expected fashion, is not likely to alter my 

' Of course, you have known it always ! 
I had forgotten,' said Fitz, trying to ad- 
just his thoughts to this new view of the 

' I left my property to Ella, for her own 
sake entirely,' continued Penhala. ' For all 
these years, she has been the only living- 
thing in this world that I have had to love. 
Paul will forgive my plain speaking — of 
his own will he removed himself out of 
my life ; we have scarcely known each 


other since he was a lad. But for this 
little maid of mine, my life would have 
been a blank, a bare, barren desert, with- 
out a blossom or a green twig to brighten 
its desolation. When I first took Ella 
under my care, I did it for my dead wife's 
sake, but I soon loved her for her own. 
She has always been the brightest, the 
most winsome, the most lovable creature 
that could gladden a man's home. As 
soon as she could put one foot in front of 
another, she learnt to find her way to me, 
wherever I was, and coax me out of my 
gloom. Even now I can feel the tender 
touch of her baby fingers on my face, little 
tendrils of love, toying tenderly round my 
surly lips, and coaxing up a smile, ten- 
drils of love that wormed their way into 
my heart, and Avrapped it round and held 
it close, and prevented the last scanty 


drop of the milk of human kindness from 
oozing out, and leaving it a dry, withered 
husk of emptiness. When I think of what 
my life would have been without this little 
creature's love, I thank God for His good- 
ness in sending her to me. She saved me 
from myself, from becoming the hardened 
brute my trouble was making of me. 
Well, then, owino; her all mv life has 
known of gladness all these years, what 
would you think of me if I dropped her as 
soon as she threatened to give me a little 
trouble? If you, who have known her 
three months, are ready to throw away 
your lawful inheritance for her sake, what 
ought I to be ready to do, who owe her 
this never to be fully paid debt ? You 
shall marry her, Fitz, at once. AYe will 
interpose a husband's authority between 
her and this drunken vagabond, and I 


82 PENH A LA. 

will make it my duty to see that in the 
long run you don't suffer for it.' 

Petrovsky, standing at the window with 
his back to them, felt like a stone image 
of despair, with the ruins of his painful 
labour at his feet. She would marry 
Pinto in spite of him ! His scheming had 
but hurried on the catastrophe ! After all 
his elaborate contriving, she would have 
to be removed from between him and this 
inheritance, by that last expedient of all ! 

As for Penhala and Fitz, they were too 
much occupied, in maturing plans and dis- 
cussing possibilities, to give a thought to 
their silent companion. His acquiescence 
was taken for granted. 

' I suppose there is no chance of dis- 
proving this man's parentage?' ventured 
Fitz, after a time. ' It is Ella Fm think- 
ing of, sir. He will be a regular old man 


of the sea to her. There is no hope that it 
is an imposture, I suppose?' 

' I'm afraid not,' returned Penhala ; ' it 
seems that he gave Paul the most detailed 
account of the whole affair. I wish Paul 
had come straight to me last night with the 
tale ; we might have got Ella out of the 
way. According to the story he tells, his 
wife's sister died last week, and made a 
confession of the whole history on her 
death-bed — His wife's visit to Carn Ruth, 
the birth of her baby there, the very day 
of Ella's birth, the adoption of the child 
by the only rich man in the place — I don't 
see any reason to disbelieve the story. 
And there is an absence of motive too. 
Why should he suddenly pounce down 
upon us with this imposture ?' 

' Unless he wanted to be bought off,' 
suggested Fitz. 



' But that is where the theory of impos- 
ture breaks down ! He will not be bought 
off. He wants nothing more than his 
daughter, will take nothing more.' 

Fitz felt defeated, but scarcely con- 

' Where is Ella now ?' he asked. 

' She has gone to the cottage on Treo'ar- 
ron Head, to see Mrs. Smith, and to per- 
suade her to return home with her.' 

' And where is — her father?' The word 
stuck in his throat desperately. 

' He has gone back to the town. I 
talked him into giving us twenty-four 
hours' grace. He is to come up again to- 
morrow morning, for a further discussion 
on the situation. But if you are willing 
to carry out the plan I have in my head, 
so far as he is concerned, there will no 
longer be a situation to discuss. Let us 


take matters boldly into our own hands ! 
Let us get away to London — you and Paul 
this afternoon, Ella and I to-night — and 
leave him here to lock the stable door when 
the steed is stolen. Why shouldn't 3^ou 
get a special license in the morning, and 
get married when Ella and I arrive in the 
afternoon? Dr. Burford will perform the 
ceremony, in the drawing-room at Eaton 
Square, and you can be off to the Con- 
tinent by the club-train directly afterwards. 
As Ella's husband, you can stand between 
her and this drunken reprobate ; and it is 
the only way, that I can see, to save her 
from him.' 

Fitz had no words at hand to say what 
he thought of the suggestion. He could 
only mutter something about it being 
much better luck than he deserved. He 
took exception to one point in the arrange- 


ments, tliougli. Why could they not all 
^0 up together that same afternoon ? 

' Because,' Penhala explained, ' I want, 
if possible, to avoid anything in the shape 
of a rumpus with this fellow. Paul shall 
go down and interview him at the " Miner's 
Rest." He can tell him that you two are 
going up to London this evening, to take 
counsel with my lawyer. That will keep 
him quiet until to-morrow. Between three 
and four o'clock in the morning, Ella and 
I will leave here for Hoathly Road Station, 
driving ten miles across country, so as to 
avoid the most distant chance of meeting 
with him at the station here, and we shall 
be a good way on our journey before our 
friend is awake. These precautions are 
advisable chiefly on Ellaline's account — I 
am anxious to spare her the ordeal of any 
further scenes with the fellow.' 


Fitz saw the force of this argument, but 
he did not like leaving Ellaline behind, 
within her father's reach. 

' But if you wait and go up with us, you 
will be too late to secure your special 
license ; and that will mean the loss of a 
whole day,' Penhala explained. ' This 
fellow may catch us up, and interfere to 
stop the marriage, unless we arrange mat- 
ters so smartly as to prevent him.' 

Again Fitz yielded against his own 

'Does Ella know of this plan yet?' he 

And Penhala laughed a little, as he ad- 
mitted that he had not known of it himself 
ten minutes ago. 

' How could I form such a plan until I 
knew what your feelings were in the mat- 
ter?' he asked. 'The scheme only came 


into my head while we have been talking.' 

' And do you think she will consent to 
it?' was Pinto's next inquiry. 

Penhala looked a little amused. 

' That is your share of the undertaking,' 
he said. ' Go down to Carn Ruth now, 
with Paul, and while he has his interview 
with Mr. Jones, you stroll on and meet 
Ella on her way back from Tregarron, and 
settle the matter for yourself.' 

A hint which Fitz accepted with alacrity. 

When Ellaline rapped at the door of the 
cottage on Tregarron Head, she had some 
difficulty in getting any attention. The 
little place had looked desolate enough 
yesterday, to-day it looked worse, or she 
imagined it did. To her, standing alone 
out there on the bare exposed hill-side, 
with no sign of life nearer than the high- 


street, a mile away, at the foot of tlie steep 
sloj^e, there seemed something fearsome in 
this elevated solitude. 

It was like death, she thought, being 
alone up there, above the rest of the 

Although she could hear voices inside, 
she had knocked twice without getting an 
answer. She was turning just to make 
a third attempt on the door when it was 
opened quickly, and her shock-headed 
little acquaintance of yesterday shot out 
into the sunshine, and closed it again 
hastily, and stood a moment, with her face 
to the door and her back to Ellaline, as if 
listening. Then she faced round, and put 
a hand between her red, swollen eyelids 
and the sunlight, and recognised Ellaline, 
and waved her back affrightedly. 

' Oh, go aw^ay, go away, young lady !' 


she exclaimed, in a strained, harsh whisper. 
' This is no place for you.' 

'But Mrs. Smith?' began Ella, retreat- 
ing instinctively before the other's resolute 

' You've not come to fetch her away !' 
she cried, under her breath. ' She can't 
come to more harm than she's done al- 
ready. He's dying, miss — dying fast — 
doctor says he won't see another sunrise. 
The lady promised him she'd stay, miss ; 
promised she'd stay till the last. You've 
not come to take her away ? She's been 
singing to him, off and on, ever since she's 
been here. It's the only thing that quiets 
him down a bit. He was a great singer 
himself once — used to sing in the church 
choir here, in this very j^lace. Seems, 
now, as if her singing took him back to 


them better times, and made his mind 
more peaceful. Let her stay till the end^ 
dear young lady ! It won't be for 
long !' 

In all her life, Ellaline had nerer felt 
the need of her adopted mother as she was 
feeling it now. But this poor little soul 
had even greater need of her. It seemed^ 
somehoAV, to happy little Ella, as if a 
great heavy cloud had suddenly blotted 
out all the joy and delight of life, as if,, 
all at once, the world was nothing but a 
blank stretch of trouble and desolation. 
Five minutes ago she had thought herself 
the most unhappy creature in the world^ 
but what w^as her trouble compared to this 
other's ? 

' Xo,' she said, gently, * I won't take 
her away. I want to see her very badly^ 


l3ut ril do without her, until — you want 
her no longer. I'm sorry your husband 
is no better.' 

' Better !' cried the little thing, with a 
quick catch in her throat. ' Better !' 

She turned and put her arm against 
the wall of the cottage, and laid her 
stricken face low down on it. But when 
Ellaline, moved by an impulse of the ten- 
derest compassion, would have gone to 
her, she waved her back again authori- 
tatively, with eager decision. 

' Don't come near me!' she entreated 
her, forcing the words out between her 
sobs. ' As like as not the fever's in my 
clothes. Don't come near me ! Let me 
have my cry out, now I've begun. I can't 
cry inside there. Go away, young lady, 
dear. You can't do no good here ; and I 
wouldn't like you to come to harm through 


that angel woman's goodness. Go away^ 
my dear.' 

• If I could only help you!' said Ellaline, 
sorrowfully, her eyes filling up as she saw 
how the other tried to fis^ht down her 
rending sobs. 

' Xo, nobody can't do that,' she an- 
swered. ' We've made our beds, Morris 
and me, and we mustn't grumble if they 
are hard.' Then, as if some sudden 
thought had stilled her, she lifted her 
face for a moment, and spoke more 
quietly. 'It's a sore sight — a Avicked 
man's death I If you ever feel inclined 
to work anybody a harm, just stop and 
remember you've got to die some time. 
When your last hour comes, it's bad to 
look back on a fellow-creature's spoilt 
life, and know it for your own work.' 

She turned then, with a backward wave 


of her hand, and went into the house, 
leavino^ Ellaline alone ag^ain on the o^reen 
hill-side. It was the first time in her 
short, happy life that the girl had been 
brought near to death ; she felt very awed 
and solemn as she took her quiet way back 
down the hill. 

Half-way down, the path skirted round 
a knoll, and as she passed round, and 
the other slope of the little eminence came 
into view, she was just a tiny bit startled 
to see a man lying there, in the sunshine, 
with his hat tilted forward over his face. 
She was so close upon him that she was 
ashamed to turn back, but she stopped 
irresolutely, lacking the courage to go on ; 
and in that instant of irresolution he 
^ became aware of her,' in some mys- 
terious fashion, and pushed his cap off 
his eyes, and sprang to his feet, and stood 


facing her. It was the juggler she had 
surprised on the terrace last night, her 

For a moment they stood, mutely gaz- 
ing at each other, and it was easy to see 
that he was even more disturbed than she 
by the meeting ; then he turned abru23tly 
and strode oiF in the direction of the 

And then Ellaline recalled her words of 
a few hours ago, and went hot with shame 
and misery. 

' Oh, stop, stop, pray stop !' she cried, 
in a very agony of penitence, and, flying 
down the steep, she caught at his arm and 
held him. ' I want,' she said, all breathless 
and eager, and fluttered by the encounter 
and her flying run, ' I want to beg your 
pardon for what I said this morning. It 
was cruel, cruel ! The first time you had 


ever seen me ! I was so — so startled — I 
hardly knew — oh, please, please forgive 

He stopped instantly at the touch on his 
arm, but he did not turn to her. He had 
come out on this side of the town on pur- 
pose to avoid this child. And here she 
was, with her clinging touch on his arm, 
and her pure, candid eyes searching him 
through and through, and her sweet, bell- 
like voice — so marvellously like that other 
voice — asking him to forgive her ! For a 
moment the impulse came to him to there 
and then make a clean breast of the whole 
imposition. That she should ask him to 
forgive her — him, on whose side lay all 
the cruelty and wrong-doing ! A denial 
of the assumed relationship was at the 
very end of his tongue, when the remem- 
brance of Petrovsky deterred him. He 


would not cut the ground from under 
Paul's feet until he had at least warned 
hmi of his intention. ' Honour among 
thieves !' he remarked to himself, grimly. 

' Forgive you ?' he said, slowly. Stand- 
ing there, face to face with her, his own 
share in the shabby fraud was so revolting 
to him, that for very shame he could hardly 
find words to speak to her. ' AVhat have 
I to forgive, my child? It is I who should 
rather beg for forgiveness. To drop like a 
black blight on your happiness, and change 
at a breath all the blossoms of hope in your 
gay, pretty garden into foul ruin ! Such 
cruel havoc as I made ! But perhaps, 
even now, it is not too late to set some of 
the mischief straight again. I will do my 

' But you did not know — how could you? 
— of the trouble your sudden coming would 



cause,' said Ellaliiie. ' And, even if you had 
caused ten times as mucli, it would be no 
excuse for what I said.' 

' That you were ashamed of me — was 
that it?' he asked, smiling down at her 
penitent face. But it was only a lip smile. 
His eyes were sombre. ' Well, I don't think 
that was much to say — under the circum- 
stances. I'll be bound you weren't half as 
ashamed of me as I was of myself, little 

' But to say such a thing to my father !' 
she cried. ' My father, of all people in the 
world !' 

He started as if she had stung him, and 
moved away a step so that her hand fell 
from his arm. 

' Ah, I know it must have hurt you hor- 
ribly,' she went on, putting her own 
meaning on the action ; ' although you are 


too good to say so, for fear of grieving me. 
Though you are so kind as to make light 
of it. I feel as if I should never forgive my- 
self, never ! Please say you forgive me — it 
will help me to forgive myself, perhaps.' 

She came round determinedly, and 
planted herself in front of him, and lifted 
her hand with a quick movement, and 
pushed her hair and hat high up off her 
brow, as if, in her eagerness, their weight 
or their warmth worried her. 

The slight gesture had an extraordinary 
effect upon him. Without moving his 
glance from her face, he saw, in a flash, 
Mary Fentimore sitting on a large old- 
fashioned couch, between the two high 
narrow windows of her Edinbur5:h lodsf- 
ings, saw her toss off her hat, and push her 
fingers through her hair at her temples, 
and heard her say, quite distinctly, 


100 PENH ALA. 

' I have often wondered when and how 
you would next pay me a visit.' 

He heard and saw it as distinctly as we 
hear and see things in the most vivid of 
dreams. But he was not dreaming ! He 
was wide awake, on the slope of Tregarron 
Head, talking to Lancelot Penhala's adopted 
daughter, to the pretty child whom he had 
seen for the first time less than a week 
ago on the race-course at Epsom ! What 
connection was there between her and that 
little incident in Mary Fentimore's lodg- 
ings? Or that other little incident in the 
garden of the Sussex cottage ? Why was 
this girl always bringing back the long, long 
ago to him, in these strangely vivid flashes 
of memory ? 

Ellaline drew a little nearer to him, and 
put out a hand. 

' You are faint !' she said. ' Don't, pray 


don't look at me like that — as if I 
frightened vou. Is it that I remind vou 


you. IS It tnat i remma y 

of — somebody else ? My mother ?' 

He passed a hand across his clammy 
forehead, and smiled at the irony of the 

' Yes,' he said, quietly. ' That is it — 
you reminded me of your mother.' 

Seeing him like that, white, and dazed 
and shaking, restored her self-possession 
somewhat. In her gay, authoritative small 
way, she was so used to taking the lead, 
that she fell into her usual manner at 
once ; only there was an added tenderness 
underlying her pretty masterfulness. She 
knew she was dealing with a creature 
sorely wounded, and her handling was 
delicate in the extreme. 

'From the other side of this little knoll we 
can see the sea, right at our feet ; and feel 


the breeze blowino; in from the entrance of 
the bay ; and the sun is less powerful than 
here. We will go and sit there till you are 
quite yourself again, and you shall tell me 
about my mother. All my life I have so 
longed to have a mother — though indeed/ 
she added, with a little hurt flush at her 
own ingratitude, ' it is mean and unthank- 
ful of me to say that, when my dear 
Mamma Mary has loved me so dearly all 
my life. Ah, if you could know how these 
people have loved and cherished me all 
my life ! You must see my dear Mamma 
Mary, and thank her yourself. I don't 
think I could have loved my own mother 
better. Shall I see her — my mother? 
Are you going to take me to her?' 

He shook his head. 

' Xo,' he said, ' I have done you all the 
harm I am likelv to do. I shall not in- 


flict my presence upon you any more. I 
have promised to stay and have another 
interview with Mr. Penhala to-morrow, but 
I am not sure I shall even do that. I 
think I will write and explain my motives 
instead. You and I will bid one another 
good-bye here, and, when you know all 
there is to know about me, you must not 
be too hard upon me. I was tempted 
beyond my strength, you see, and I fell — 
as I always have fallen before temptation. 
You will go into a great passion when you 
hear, just as you did this morning,' — as she 
put up a quick, imploring hand, he took it 
in his own and held it, and smiled down 
at her indulgently, — ' yes, you will. For 
two minutes your eyes will flash, and your 
cheeks will flush, and your hands will 
shut themselves up tight, and the whole 
of your little person will quiver with 


indignation and resentment, and you will 
say far worse tilings of me than you said 
this morning, and — I shall deserve it all. 
And yet — while your eyes are still un- 
opened to my enormity — I am going to 
ask you, when that first burst of passion 
is past, to try sometimes to think a little 
kindly of me ; as of one who was unfor- 
tunate as well as wicked, one who caused 
the shipwreck of his life mainly by acting 
first and thinking afterwards, a poor, 
invertebrate thing, who lacked the strength 
to stem the torrents crossing his road, but 
one who seldom sinned against another in 
cold blood. I want a kind thought from 
you desperately, because you remind me 
of somebody I once loved very, very 

' My mother ?' murmured Ellaline. ' Is 
she — is she dead ?' 


' My child, I don't know !' Her little 
interpolation had not severed the thread 
of his thoughts. He did not grasp the 
fact that she and he were speaking of 
different people. It was Mary, and Mary 
only, that his mind was full of. 

' You don't know ?' 

' Xo, she — that is I Well, I have 

always been a ne'er-do-well, and her life 
with me grew unendurable, I suppose, and 
so she found she could do better for her- 
self without me.' 

' She left you !' Ella's eyes were flashing 

' Yes, but I was always a bad lot, you 

' And was that not a reason why she 
should stand by you, and help you against 
yourself? And, besides, I don't believe it 
quite, not that you were ever bad enough 


to drive her to — to — oh, it was very cruel 
of her ! She was a wicked woman !' 

' No, not that. You must not say that. 
I have always stood out against that. I 
think, at first, that there must have been 
some fatal blunder. And then, after- 
wards, I could not take a single step in 
search of her, because, when we married^ 
the gain was all on my side, the loss all 
on hers. And so, when she chose to put 
me out of her life, I did not see how I 
could thrust myself back into it again. I 
daresay I was w^rong, I generall}^ am : it 
is easier to me to think that than the 
other. To me she was the sweetest, 23urest, 
best woman the world ever held. And I 
can still say with all my heart, " God bless 
her!" Sometimes, as now, when I am 
right away from the seething roar and 
vice of the big towns, when I spend a 


whole long day in the free, fresh air, and 
am able to get to sleep of a night without 
first muddling my brain with drink, some- 
times then, between sleeping and waking,, 
I fancy she is back with me.' He lifted 
his hand, and pointed across the little bay. 
' You see the waterfall, leaping down the 
face of the cliff across the bay there ?' 

Ellaline glanced for an instant where he 
pointed, and brought her eyes back as- 
sentingly to his face. There was a strange^ 
intense sympathy between them during 
the whole of the interview. She had no 
eyes, no thought for anything but him and 
his story. 

' I slept there last night, in one of the 
overgrown little arbours half-way up the 
clifi*. I don't think I meant, when I went 
there, to stay the whole night, but I got 
so worked up in the interview with Paul 


Petrovsky, that I felt a house would not 
hold me ; and it seemed to me that, if I 
went there, other thoughts, memories 
rather, would drive out those that were 
setting my brain in a whirl. Well, I went 
and lay down there, and thought of many 
things in the past.' 

Had he known this place before then ? 
was the thought in Ellaline's mind, but 
she would not interrupt him. 

• Terrible things, calamitous things, but 
— because they were so far away in the 
past, I suppose — their terror and their 
calamity did not stir me as the insignifi- 
cant meeting with Petrovsky had done. 
Lying out there among the ferns, with the 
tamarisk boughs swinging gently to and 
fro between me and the stars, and the 
swish, swish of the tide beating out its 
monotonous sing-song on the beach below, 


I gradually quieted down into a state of 
absolute rest, which was yet not sleep — 
no, it was not sleep, you will see that for 
yourself, presently.' 

He paused for an instant, but only to 
draw a deep breath, to gather his energies 
together, as it were, to carry him right on 
to the end. 

' Lying out there like that, with the 
sound of the tide below me and the glim- 
mer of the stars above, alone with the 
nio^ht, one of the terrible thino-s — or 
memories — that was bound to come into 
my mind, was the recollection of a man 
swinging himself up the face of the cliffy 
just beyond the falls, the very piece of the 
cliff that I could see from where I lay ; 
swinging himself up from rock to rocky 
and threatening to murder me as he went. 
The recollection haunted me throuo:h the 


early part of the niglit. Every time I 
shut my eyes I could see him fighting his 
way furiously up the steep slope, until at 
last, when I opened them again, it seemed 
to me that he was really there — that same 
man — standing on the other side of the 
trickling waters j looking at me. It is a 
man I have not seen, nor even heard of, 
for over twenty years, and so I had no 
fear that he would recognise me ; but 
still it was an uncomfortable situation, 
lying there with the feeling that he was 
watching me. It grew so unbearable at 
last that I sat up, and pushed the ferns 
aside, to ask him what he was doing there. 
And then I saw that it was not — not the 
person I had imagined — it was a woman, 
the woman I spoke of — Mary . . . Just 
as I knew her she looked, except her hair 
— that was quite white. 


' I could never express to you the feel- 
ing it gave me to see — her — there. For you 
see, just then, at first, I ^vas convinced 
that it was her very self, in the flesh. I 
should think I sat there for quite Hve 
minutes, holding the ferns aside with both 
my hands, and peering out at her. At 
last I could stand it no longer, and I 
leapt up on to my feet, and went to the 
edge of the stream, and put out my hands 
and said, '' Mary, will you come to me ?" 
That was all I could think of to say, after 
a separation of eighteen years.' 

' And she came ?' asked Ella, in a 

' She couldn't. She pointed to the 
stream between us, and shook her head; 
and when she put her hand out I first 
noticed the dead whiteness of her flesh. 
It was my wife, but dead !' 



' Dead. I saw then, what I had not 
seen before, that she was swathed from 
head to foot in soft, white linen, like the 
grave-clothes painters put in their pictures 
sometimes. " Have you come for me, 
then ?" I said. '' If you can't come to me, 
I can come to you." She raised both her 
hands then, with their palms towards me, 
and drew her arms back to her sides and 
shot them forward again, three times — 
like this — as if she were warning me 
away from where I stood. But I was 
reckless by this time, and I sprang across 
the falls — a child could leap them at this 
time of the year — with some mad words 
about being glad to die, if death would 
bring me to her ' 

' Yes ?' He had stopped abruptly. Ella- 
line was holding her breath. 


'That is all. When I got there— 
where she had stood — there was nothing/ 


' Only a few streamers of hart's-tongue 
waving faintly in the breeze, and throwing 
tremulous shadows on the pale face of the 

Ellaline drew a long, quivering breath 
of relief. 

' It was a dream, after all !' 

' But I Avas awake !' 

• You thought so.' 

' But my boots were wet, and when I 
went back to my lair the ferns were all 
broken and crushed, where I had held 

' Still, it was a dream — people move, oh, 
quite frequently, in their sleep. Do you 
not think yourself it was a dream?' 

He picked up a handful of pebbles, and 



tossed two or three of them, one after the 
other, over the brink of the cliff before he 

' If I had a grain of superstition in me, 
I should say it was what old women call 
" a warning." ' 

' A warnino^ ao;ainst what ?' 

' Against the job I had in hand — against 
claiming you. My feeling was so strong 
in the matter that, if my word had not been 
passed, I should have run away there and 
then, and never willingly have set eyes on 
you again.' 

Ellaline put out a small, ungloved hand, 
and laid it on his ; very dainty it looked 
against the deep tan of his skin. 

' I am glad — now — that you did not do 
^hat,' she said, softly. ' You may hardly 
believe it — after my cruel behaviour this 
morning — but I am ; very glad. I don't 

PENH ALA. 115 

know yet what may happen, now that this 
discovery has come about ; but for you, at 
least, I hope it may bring nothing but 
good. It will be something to have a 
daughter to love you, even if she is only 
a foolish, frivolous individual like me. I 
think you are one who wants a lot of love, 

Xow that, at last, the word had come, 
all her impulsive heart went out in it. 
Her voice was very tender and sweet as she 
reached the end of her little speech. But 
he threw her hand from him, and leapt to 
his feet, and stood looking down at her, as 
if he expected to see her change into some- 
body else under his very eyes. What was 
it ? In what did this curious hallucination 
consist? It was so subtle, so intangible, 
and yet so real ! 

As he stood there disturbed, shaken and 

I 2 


altogether unnerved by her use of that 
word, Fitzwarrene Pinto came hurrying 
round the steep rise of the knoll into vie^v^ 
and broke the strained silence that had 
fallen on them, with his pleasant, bright, 
matter-of-fact young voice. 

' Oh, there you are !' An astonished 
pause, while he took in the evident signs 
of emotion on both their faces. ' I hope 
this — gentleman has not been annoying 
you, Ella ?' Then, reassured by Ellaline's 
emphatic disclaimer on that point, ' I left 
Mr. Petrovsky looking for you, in the town 
below, sir. He has some important in- 
formation to give you, I believe.' 

' And I him !' came the prompt answer. 
' He is the very person I want to see. 
Good-bye, little comforter. I'm glad we 


Ellaline rose quickly and put out her 

For a moment he stood looking at it in 
a troubled indecision, then, shaking his 
head, quickly and resolutely, he turned 
off and passed beyond their view. 




When Petrovsky's co-conspirator got back 
to the inn, he found that the Russian had 
been and ojone again, leaving word that 
he would come back in half-an-hour, and 
requesting ' Mr. Jones ' to await his return. 
He went on at once up the stairs to his 
own room. His mind was now quite made 
up as to his future course of action, and 
he would not waste one unnecessary 
moment in carrying out his decision. He 
meant to acknowledge to Penhala that 


this assumed parentage of his adopted 
daughter was an impudent hoax, taking 
the entire responsibility of the affair on 
his own shoulders, and leaving Petrovsky's 
name out of the business altogether. AYhen 
Paul came back he would see him, and 
tell him of his intention. He would write 
a confession of the imposture, and post it 
to Penhala on his way out of the town. 

He was thoroughly alive to the risk he 
was running in carrying out this decision, 
but that consideration had no shadow of 
influence with him. He knew it was more 
than likely that Penhala would have him 
followed and taken into custody ; and that, 
as the reward of his imposture, he might 
possibly spend a longer or shorter period 
in the county jail ; but, whether it fell out 
so or not, the anticipation should have no 
weight with him — he would not for an 


hour longer lend himself to the persecution 
of the sweet, lovely little creature who had 
called him father. 

Regarded from his point of view, the 
thought of Lancelot Penhala committing 
him to jail as a rogue and vagabond was 
not without its humour. Rather grim 
humour it was, judging by the mixed 
quality of his smile as he contemplated the 

There was one contignency, though, 
which it behoved him to o^uard ao^ainst with 
the nicest care — the chance of Penhala — or 
anybody else, for that matter — finding out 
tlie u'hole truth concerning him and his past. 
That was a misfortune w^hich, with all his 
determination to do the right thing by 
Ellaline, he would not face at any cost. 
And he took his measures for its preven- 
tion accordingly. 


He pulled off his shabby tweed jacket, 
iind sat down by the table under the win- 
dow, and set to work to rip the seam in- 
side the back of the collar. There was a 
soiled, flat, narrow packet sewn in under 
the tailor's stiffening. He wondered, as 
he sat there carefully cutting the stitches 
with his pocket-knife, how many coat- 
collars that limp packet had lined in its 
time. He had always kept it, thinking it 
would help to establish his identity after 
death. But now that he was at last going 
deliberately to put himself within reach of 
the law, now that he was going to expose 
himself to the risk of a vigorous police ex- 
amination of his few belongings, there was 
another danger to guard against — the 
danger of having his identity established 
while he was still alive. 

After having successfully evaded 


detection all these years, the thought of 
its overtaking him at last, like a tardy 
vengeance, set his heart leaping for very 
fear. Yes, those incriminating scraps of 
paper must go at last. As he drew the 
time-worn packet from its hiding-place, 
and unfolded the cotton wrappings, he 
sighed a little ; and even as he sighed he 
smiled at the folly of it, and yet sighed 
ao^ain, such creatures of long habit are the 
most reckless among us. 

Those few frayed scraps of paper 
formed the last link between him and a 
youth so joyous, so heedless, so un- 
troubled, that sometimes, in looking back 
at it, he asked himself whether it had ever 
existed in reality, whether it was not 
rather an hallucination from which he 
could not free himself. Perhaps the re- 
luctance to part with those last tokens of 

PENHALA. ] 23 

his identity was not so difficult to under- 
stand after all. 

He lingered the poor, frail fragments 
very tenderly, as he separated them one 
from the other, and laid them in a row on 
the table under the window. When he 
had them all laid out he sat a moment or 
two, with his chin resting in his hollowed 
palms, looking at them. It was a kind of 
formal leave-taking he was going through ; 
none the less sorrowful, perhaps, for his 
own inclination to treat the little touch of 
sentiment with derision. 

Among the scraps of print there was 
one piece of note-paper, to which he de- 
voted a special share of attention. 

It was the half-sheet which Nita Morelli 
had put in his wife's writing-case, after 
separating it from its other half — from the 
half which held the explanation of what 


had gone before, and contained the in- 
structions for future communication with 

' It seemed to me you could not help 
but resent this upspringing of a new 
interest in my life,' he read, and smiled 
pitifully to himself in the reading ; ' the 
strongest, the most absorbing interest I 
have ever known. I have loved you, 
John, you cannot doubt it, and yet, now, 
I sometimes ask myself if ever before I 
have known the fullest depths of my own 
heart — that utterly selfless love, which 
could count the sacrifice of everything 
that makes life pleasant as nothing, when 
the benefit of its object is the end in 

He moaned as he read, and brought his 
clenched fist down on the paper. Then he 
laughed at his own imbecility. 


He supposed he was getting old, and 
there was no fool like an old fool. And 
so, with a swift outstretching and draw- 
ing together of his hands, he brought all 
the worn scraps up in a heap, meaning to 
carry them to the empty grate and set 
light to them. But even as he rose there 
came a sharp knock, followed by the un- 
closing of the door. 

It was the work of an instant to the man 
by the window to drop his jacket over the 
scraps of paper. But the window faced 
full down the bay, and at the opening of 
the door, the draught, rushing furiously 
through the room, snicked in between the 
falling jacket and the table, and whisked 
away one of the smallest scraps, and blew 
it across to the foot of the bed, where it 
lay unnoticed at the edge of the chintz 


It was Petrovsky who bad entered. He 
shut the door behind him, and turned the 
key in the lock. 

' I have been hunting for you this past 
hour,' he said, speaking as he locked the 
door, and grinding his words out with a 
low, dull monotony, which caught his 
hearer's attention at once. 

For all its quietness, the tone told its 
own tale to the listener, and prepared him 
in some degree for the look on Paul's face 
when he turned towards the room again. 
It was a blending of the supremest heights 
of two absolutely antagonistic emotions, 
mental anguish and self-repression, and 
the combination was terrible to look upon. 

It was as if he wore a stone mask, which 
the furnace of his emotions had rendered 
incandescent from within, but which yet 


preserved its rigidity because of its nature, 
which could allow no sign of yielding, 
short of flying asunder in fragments, at 
the moment of complete annihilation. 

The internal furnace was his anguish of 
soul, the stone mask his power of self- 

' Why have you been out of the way?' 
he asked. 

' I have signed no contract which makes 
me answerable to you for my comings and 
goings,' answered the other, curtly. 

' Don't let us quibble about trifles.' He 
still stood at the door, almost, as it seem- 
ed, because he was glad to steady himself 
against something. That he was under- 
going some intense strain was palpable to 
the meanest observation. ' Last night, 
when you and I planned this comedy, I 


told you what my object was, to break off 
the match between the foundling my uncle 
has adopted, and young Pinto. Three 
hours ago. when you left the house, I 
thought this purjDose was accomplished. 
It was not. There is an elopement ar- 
ranged ; they are to be married privately^ 
at my uncle's town house, to-morrow 

' Well ?' 

' The marriage must be prevented some- 
how, it shall be ! This crisis has come on 
me so unexpectedly, that I am bewildered. 
I can plan nothing, arrange nothing for 
the future. My brain won't carry me be- 
yond the immediate necessity of the 
moment, the necessity of interposing 
some obstacle to stop the carrying out 
of this scheme. By some means or an- 
other you must get the girl away from the 


house before midnight, and keep her away 
out of sight for a few days, until I can 
communicate with you.' 

The man by the table crossed to the 
iire-place, thus placing the bed between 
him and Petrovsky, and took a bank-note 
from under one of the heavy china 
ornaments on the mantel-piece. 

' I will do nothing of the sort,' he said, 
with the most absolute determination of 
tone and manner. ^ I will have nothing 
more to do with the affair, in any way 
w^hatever. I told you this morning that 
I had had enouo-h of the dirtv business ; 
now I am more determined than ever. 
You must get out of the hole the best 
way you can. There is the twenty pounds 
you paid me on account. Xow I am free 
of the bargain.' 

He folded the note in half as he was 


130 PENH ALA. 

speaking, and tossed it on to tlie bed to- 
wards liis companion. It fluttered open 
as it went, and travelled through the rail 
at the bed-foot, and lay close to the 
rubbed, frayed piece of newspaper on the 

• More than that,' he went on, ' I am 
sroino; to back out even of what I have 
done. In a hour from now I shall be out 
of this place for good ; but, before I go, I 
mean to write to Mr. Penhala, and admit 
that the fathership business was all a 
hoax ' 

' You would betray me ?' 

' Xo ; not that ! I shall leave you out of 
the matter altogether, say that I over- 
heard from some of the people here that 
the young lady was only an adopted 
daughter, and that it put the idea of 
claiming her into my head. I've got no 


spite towards you in the matter at all, 
you know, it is only that I am sick of my 
share in the job.' 

As he crossed slowly to the foot of the 
bed to pick up his discarded bribe, the 
still, tense horror of Petrovsky's manner 
w^as ghastly. God only knew the agony 
he endured at that moment, at findino: 
himself once more face to face with that 
last awful, fell necessity, the removal of 
Ellaline hy his own action. 

As he stooped for the money his head 
and face passed for the moment below the 
bed, out of the other man's sight ; and as 
he raised himself again, he uttered a sort 
of gasp, almost as if he had hurt himself 
in the stooping. He had picked up the 
scrap of newspaper with the note, and he 
looked from the shred of printing to the 
man's face opposite, and back again to the 



paper in his hand, and then again to the 
other's face, with a slow, dawning com- 
prehension in his eyes of some fact but 
that instant made apparent. Then, as if 
seeking corroboration of something well- 
nigh incredible, his glance flashed round 
the room, lighted on the coat, with the 
ripped collar lying uppermost, on the 
table, and, before the other scented the 
least danger, he had dashed across the 
intervening sj^ace, snatched up the coat 
to examine the newly-made opening, 
caught sight of the papers underneath, 
and grabbed a handful of them tightly in 
his grasp. 

The man by the fireplace made no move- 
ment. The time for that was past. They stood 
eyeing one another, both breathing quickly, 
both, but for that, as motionless as death. 
It was Petrovsky who spoke. He lifted 


the hand still holding the bank-note, and 
read out, 

' The government has, we understand, 
offered a reward of a hundred pounds for 
such information as shall lead to the 
arrest of John Penhala; against whom 
the coroner's jury, at the inquest on Hagar 
Polwhele last week, returned a verdict of 
wdlful murder.' 

The silent man opposite listened curi- 

Though he knew the words so well that 
he frequently repeated them to himself in 
his dreams, he had never heard them till 
now. He listened with a strained atten- 
tion, almost as if he expected to discover 
some new shade of meaning in the curt 
sentence, now that it was at last clothed 
in sound. It was a curious sensation, 
hearing it for the first time after all these 

134 PENH ALA. 

years. He shivered slightly as the end 
was reached, just as the leaves shiver at 
the tip of the pendulous birch boughs, 
when the first breath of the approaching 
storm sets the still summer air in 

Petrovsky picked another piece of paper^ 
hap-hazard, from the bunch in his other 
hand, and read again : 

' It is reported in Carn Ruth that Morris 
Edyvean is missing. Morris Edyvean is 
the man whose evidence resulted in a 
verdict of wilful murder against John 
Penhala, at the inquest on Hagar Polwhele 
last week. Edyvean, according to popular 
rumour, was the girl's sweetheart before 
John Penhala came on the scene, and it 
is currently reported that his disappear- 
ance from Carn Ruth is the result of an 
oath of vengeance against the murderer. 


He has sworn to track John Penhala, and, 
sooner or later, to bring him to justice." 

Again there ^vas a spell of silence, and 
again they looked at each other as if words 
were altogether inadequate to the situa- 
tion. And then Petrovsky laughed, and 
at the sound the other shuddered again, 
but spoke not a word. 

' To think,' said Paul, ' how blind we 
have all been ! To think that in another 
hour you would have been off, out of the 
place again, and we none of us the wiser 1 
To think how Morris Edyvean, after wait- 
ing all these years, would have ground his 
teeth at missing such a chance of paying 
off his old score ! My very good friend, 
you will reconsider that determination of 
yours. You will discover a more obliging 
frame of mind, I am certain. You will 
stand by me through this matter to the 


very end. Indeed, there are very few 
things that you would not do to oblige me, 
my good cousin John.' 

Still John neither spoke nor moved. 
If, in addressing him thus familiarly, 
Petrovsky's motive had been to startle him 
into an appeal for mercy, the trick failed 
completely. Tinkering attempts to patch 
up the crisis were of no use now. And 
there was no room in his mind for such. 
This overwhelming crash of ruin had 
stunned him to all else. His understanding 
grasped only the one stupendous fact — At 
last he would have to face the hideous 
horror of a trial for murder, ending, as he 
knew it must end, in his condemnation and 
— his hanging ! For twenty-two years he 
had nursed this grisly terror in his heart, 
now at last it was out, at large ; visible, 
threatening, more awful a thousand times 


than he had imagined it. He would hang 
by the neck until he was dead! The 
whole tragedy flashed through his mind 
in a twinkling of the eye-lid — his awaken- 
ing in his cell on that last fateful mornino; 
of all, the dull boom of the tolling-bell, 
the coming of the hangman and the chap- 
lain — a gruesome companionship — the 
procession through the prison corridors, 
the chaplain's monotonous voice reading 
the service for the burial of the dead — for 
him, he was the dead — the ascent of the 
gallows-steps, one, two — ten in all, each 
one taking him nearer to eternity — the 
touch of the hangman's hand pulling the 
cap over his face, placing the rope round 
his neck, the harsh contact of the hempen 
cord with his skin, the breathless moments 
of waiting for the first sound of the mov- 
ing bolts, and then — ah, God ! let him 

138 PENHALtV. 

get air, water — sometliing to lift hiin 
out of this awful phantasy, or he would 
die there, before his time ! 

Blanched, shaking, with every sign of 
physical cowardice upon him, he staggered 
across to the washing-stand against the 
opposite wall, and plunged his head and 
face in the basin. 

Paul watched him with a dull curiosity. 
To him it seemed strange that the other 
should fear death so vividly. For his part 
death would have been easy enough ; it 
was the living that was so terrible ; the 
living of a life shadowed, as his was, by 
the constant consciousness of coming 

John sat down after his drenching, with 
the water trickling in rivulets down his 
brown throat, and across the loose collar 
of his red shirt. He was shaking still, but 


his face was a healthier colour, and he 
had regained some sort of control over his 

' It was sudden,' he said, huskily ; ' it 
took me unawares ! There was some ex- 
cuse — a secret of twenty-two years standing 
— to have it sprung on you like that.' 

' Perhaps,' said Paul, curtly. ' You 
know Edyvean is back here — at the cottage 
on the head yonder?' 

' For God's sake no more of that torture I 
Tell me what it is you want me to 

Petrovsky's features quivered. His 
own fury of emotion had calmed down 
somewhat in presence of the other's ; now 
it beojan to show itself ao;ain. 

'This opportune discovery has strength- 
ened my hands, just when they most needed 
strengthening. You will buy my silence 


at the price of your own absolute obedience 
to my directions.* 
' Go on !' 

Petrovsky, still standing by the table 
under tbe window, reached across and 
pulled the casement to ; and went and sat 
on the edge of the bed, near enough to his 
companion to carry on the conversation in 
a mere murmur. 

' Your life is in my hands,' he began, 
* and since you seem to set a remarkably 
high value on it, I think I'm pretty safe in 
returning the com.pliment, and placing mine 
in yours.' 

John lifted his eyes to the speaker's 

' That's right, I want your best attention. 
I have only a few minutes longer to stay, 
and I have plenty to explain to you. You 
have heard the how and the why of my 


father's death, and, if you have thought 
about the matter, you will have guessed 
that I, too, am vowed, body and soul, to the 
Cause for which he died. This Cause has 
need of the Penhala wealth, to which I am 
the lawful heir. That is why I am fighting 
so hard for the inheritence, why I shall 
fight to the last, let the obstacles be what 
they may. It would take too long to ex- 
plain all the details of the matter to you, 
but however much I explained you would 
still regard me as a brother murderer.' 

' I am no murderer !' 

' Chut ! The world thinks you one — the 
difference is only a matter of your own 
opinion of yourself — I choose to think you 
one, because it makes matters so much 
easier between us. Half-an-hour ago I had 
no more violent measures in my mind, as 
far as your complicity is concerned, than 


the temporary removal of this girl Ellaline 
from Lancelot Penhala's protection. Now, 
however, I am going to put into your hands 
the task of removing her permanently.' 

' You mean ?' 

' I am going to explain what I mean. 
Between now and nine to-night you 
must mature some plan for getting the 
girl out of the house, unknown to anybody 
but your two selves. Once that is done, 
you must persuade her into accompany- 
ing you on a railway journey — are you 

John's head had fallen forward between 
his hands. He raised it again with a muffled 
moan, and Petrovsky resumed: — 

' There is a train leaves Cluth-hoe junc- 
tion at a quarter-past ten for Exeter — 
there are very few first-class passengers 
travellino; at that hour — there will be 


no difficulty in securing a compartment 
to yourselves. Once that is accomplished 
the rest is simple.' He took from his 
pocket a minute metal box, about half 
an inch thick, and as large round as a 
sixpence. ' At Plymouth you insist upon 
your charge taking a cup of coffee, or a 
glass of milk, or something, anything. 
As you carry the cup from the refreshment 
room to the carriage, you will drop the 
globule inside this box into it. A quarter 
of an hour after you have resumed your 
journey the girl will get drowsy, and fall 
into a sleep, from which nothing will ever 
awaken her.' Again John's head drooped 
forward till- his face was hidden from 
view. ' Then you open the door of the 
carriage — the line is through a most lonely 
country just there, twenty miles to the 
north of Plymouth — and put the girl out 


on the line, letting her fall under the train 
if you can manage it, so that there will be 
no need to inquire into the cause of death. 
Then you ring the communicator — unless 
you are clever enough to be able to break 
it without ringing it ; in which case there 
will be so much the more likelihood of 
your escaping detection — if the body 
is left there until your next stoppage it 
may be further mutilated by a following 
train ' 

' God of Heaven !' cried John, spring- 
ing up and making a leap for the sjDeaker. 
' Are you a man at all, to propose such a 
plan to me in cold blood?' 

But Petrovsky was too quick for him, 
and got the bed between them. 

* Pooh !' he said, slipping his hand into 
an inner pocket, and displaying the handle 
of a revolver, ' when a man goes about 


■with his life in liis hand, as I do, do you 
think he is such a fool as to risk being 
throttled over the first little difference of 
opinion that happens between him and his 
instruments ? I am too used to danger 
for that. Last night even, when I heard 
where you had been found — hiding out- 
side the windows in the dark — I made up 
my mind you were a spy, sent down to see 
that I did not flinch from my duty. One 
gets used to that sort of thing. Come, 
decide for yourself ! It is not too late to 
draw back, make your own choice — a 
chance of escape this way — certain death 
the other. If the people here once know 
who you are,' you are a dead man. If you 
maintain your disguise and carry out my 
plan, you are not likely to be even sus- 
pected of having had a hand in this child's 
death. If you swear she threw herself 



out on to tlie line, who is to prove the con- 
trary ? And what motive would there be 
for violence on your part ? You can con- 
coct a story that she threw herself out in a 
frenzy of despair, because you were carry- 
ing her away from her sweetheart.' All 
this time he had held the small metal box 
between his thumb and finger. Now he 
folded it up compactly in the banknote he 
had picked up from the floor — John 
watching the performance in dazed misery 
— and so threw them together on to the 

' There is your ammunition,' he said. 
* See that it does not miss fire.' And turn- 
ing swiftly, he passed out of the room and 
shut the door behind him. 

John, left by himself, stood a moment 
looking at the little packet, then, throwing 
up his hands with a gesture of the 


supremest despair, lie picked it up and put 
it in his pocket. 

After dinner Ellaline was in her room 
with her maid, packing; or rather the maid 
was packing and Ellaline was looking on, 
when one of the housemaids knocked at 
the door and handed in a sealed letter. 

Ellaline was in a state of tearful agi- 
tation. Things to-day had combined to 
upset her nerves. To be claimed at 
breakfast time by a travelling conjurer as 
his daughter, after believing all her life 
that she was Lancelot Penhala's child, 
and a few hours later to receive another 
shock in the shape of a suggestion of a 
runaway marriage ; and, almost worst of 
all, to be compelled to go away without so 
much as a single word of explanation with 
her dear Mrs. Smith ; without a good-bye 

L 2 


kiss from the best and clearest friend that 
a motherless ^irl was ever blessed with l 
The experiences of the day had been 
enough to try nerves of a tougher fibre 
than Ellaline's. 

She sprang forward when she saw the 
note in her maid's hand. Perhaps it was 
from Mrs. Smith. She hurried over to the 
lamp to read it ; and though she saw at a 
glance that it was not from Mrs. Smith, 
the first sentence caught her closest at- 

' Since I left you this morning, the most 
extraordinary crisis in my life has come 
about. I have received news of your 
mother. She is in the neighbourhood. 
She wants to see me and you. AVill you 
trust yourself with me for an hour, with- 
out saying a word to a living creature ? 
We will go to her together. After send- 


ing this to you, I will wait for half-an- 
hour in the place where you found me 
last night, between the buttress and the 
large stone vase, on the terrace outside the 
drawing-room windows. It seems to me 
that the whole of my future is in your 
hands. In this crisis, will you stand by 
your unfortunate father?' 

Ellaline slipped the note into her pocket, 
and took a hat and cloak from the ward- 

' The house is stifling,' she said to the 
busy maid, ' I am going for a breath of 
air. I think you can finish without me 
now. When you have done, go to bed at 
once. Youwill be fit for nothing unless 
you get a few hours' rest before we start.' 

She hurried away down the stairs, across 
the hall, through the unlit drawing-room, 
and out on to the terrace. 


^ How glad I am !' she cried, tremu- 
lously, with both hands out, as a figure 
moved into sight from the shadowy 
recess behind the vase. ' How glad ! 
Where is she?' 

' You are not afraid then ?' 

'Afraid? Of you? After our talk 
this morning ? No, indeed ! Only so 
glad to find I am likely to be of a little 
help. Come, let us go ! Where is she ?' 

He put her hand under his arm, and 
led her away, in the direction of the whis- 
pering pines. 



A mother's vigil. 

Mr. Penhala was resting quietly in the 
library to prej^are himself for his early 
start. It had just struck eleven when 
Parsons knocked at the door and came in, 
with the information that Mrs. Smith had 
returned, and wanted to see him. 

' She is changing her clothes,' he said. 
' She thought it better to be on the safe 
side. She was afraid, finding the house 
so quiet, that you might have gone to 


your room, and she says she must see you 
to-night, sir.' 

' Does she know anything of all this 
fuss T asked Mr. Penhala. 

But that was a question Parsons was 
unable to answer. He did not see how 
she could, shut up as she had been ever 
since yesterday morning ; and yet he had 
to confess that, during the minute she had 
stood talking to him in the hall, there had 
been something very unusual in her 

' All of a tremble she was, sir — hardly 
seemed to know what she was saying for 

' Then I expect she has heard something 
as she came through the town. Very 
likely she is fagged, too, with her nursing. 
Bring some wine and sandwiches. She 
may be glad of something while I am 


telling her all that has occurred in her 
absence. Is Miss Penhala still up ?' 

' I think not, sir. She told her maid 
she should not want her any more to-night, 
some time ago.' 

' Then see that she is not disturbed on 
account of Mrs. Smith's return. She must 
get what rest she can. And, Parsons, 
don't forget the wine.' 

Parsons murmured an assent as he 
closed the door softly behind him ; but 
five minutes later, when Mrs. Smith en- 
tered the room, Penhala saw at a glance 
that wine and sandwiches were quite out 
of the question in her present condition. 

She was in that curious state of mental 
exaltation, in which the frame for a time 
is supported entirely from within ; to eat 
would have been an impossibility to her. 
She would in all probability sufi'er for the 


abstinence by-and-by, but just now she 
was physically incapable of taking nourish- 
ment. Her very manner of crossing the 
room expressed something of this ; her flexi- 
ble lips were agleam with eagerness, and the 
soft, quick flash of her eye spoke plainly 
of the stirring of some vivid emotion. 

She did not wait to let Penhala begin 
his story ; she was too eager to impart her 

' You know whom I have been nurs- 
ing?' she asked, even while he was 
greeting her, and telling her how glad he 
was to see her at home again. 

The manner of the enquiry stopped 
his recital at once. What was coming 
now ? Something of weighty importance 

' You don't know ?' she said, as he 
shook his head. ' I thought you would 

PENH ALA. 155 

have heard. It was Morris Edyvean. 
He is dead, poor fellow, died ,two hours 

Morris Edyvean ! Pre-occupied as he 
had been, the mention of that name drove 
his present perplexities away at a breath, 
and plunged him back bodily into the 
never forgotten past. It was so full of 
ghosts, that past of his ; and of all those 
disembodied spectres of ' the-might-have- 
been,' none had such power to pain him 
as the memory of his son ; that faint 
wraith of a vanished individuality which 
sometimes, even yet, glimmered at him 
from the bottom of an unreachable 
abyss, like the face of one long since 

To hear Morris Edyvean's name again, 
after a silence of twenty years, took him 
back with a bound to the time when it 


had been on everybody's lips, as the 
denouncer of this much-loved son of his. 
It was natural it should shake him a little. 
And he was dead — this relentless enemy 
of John's ! 

' But before he died,' continued Mary, 
with that strange light in her eyes, that 
indescribable thrill of subdued emotion in 
her voice, ' he confessed, fully and freely, 
that his accusation against your son, of 
the murder of Hagar Polwhele, was false 
— false from beginning to end !' 

Penhala went white to his lips, and 
made as though to rise. Mary, with a 
self-possession which seemed almost in- 
spired, filled a glass with wine and held 
it to him ; going on meantime with her 

' I have the whole confession on paper, 
signed by him. The girl's death was the 


result of an accident — tlie purest accident. 
She slipped dovrn the river bank — when 
she fell, your son was not within a yard 
of her — she sprang backwards to avoid 
him, and the bank was steep, and slippery 
with snow. John did not touch her. If 
your son were alive he could come back 
here this moment, and take his rightful 
place at your side, as the stay and comfort 
of your declining years.' 

She drew a great breath of relief and 
stopped. Xow that she had vindicated 
John's memory in his father's sight, a 
strange little touch of peace fell upon her. 
In her great gladness she did not fully 
realise all that this disclosure meant to 
the just-minded man opposite. She had 
always known of John's innocence ; he 
had known nothing of it ; had, in fact, 
accepted the boy's disappearance, and his 


resolute self-effacement, as proof of his 
guilt ; and now, after the lapse of twenty- 
two years, this declaration of his inno- 
cence came upon his father like the crash 
of an earthquake, and his world seemed 
shaken to its foundations. His thoughts 
were too overpowering for words ; he lis- 
tened to the disclosure in perfect silence, 
sitting with his head bowed forward in 
his hands. He was thinking of John as 
he had last seen him. He had stood 
there, where his vindicator stood now, 
defending himself from the charge that 
had been brought against him. How 
handsome and fearless the lad had looked. 
How they had loved one another, this 
father and son, until their lives had been 
darkened by this tragedy ! And John 
was innocent after all, innocent, at least, 
of that one crowning cruelty of which he 


had been accused. The thought brought 
with it the keenest gratitude ; gratitude 
sorrowfully diluted with self-reproach. 
He had been so ready to believe in the 
boy's guilt ! This last thought was upper- 
most when he at last lifted his head and 

' And we made an Ishmaelite of him for 
a sin he did not commit ! And I was 
bitterest of all in my denunciation of my 
own flesh and blood ! And he had to bear 
the burden of that crime, knowing it was 
an injustice ! Poor lad — poor lad ! God 
forgive me my harshness ! I shall never for- 
give myself. Is he living still ? 1 wonder 
is he living still ? I will move heaven and 
earth to find him — I will make reparation. 
Reparation?' He checked himself. 'For 
twenty-two years he has been a wanderer, 
with this terror hanging over him ! . . . 


And I talk of reparation ! . . . What a 
price to pay for the sin of his youth ! 
Twenty-two years ! My poor boy !' He 
lifted his glance suddenly. ' How shall I 
ever thank you for what you have done 
for me?' 

Mary shook her head gently, and they 
were silent again for a little ; he busy with 
his regrets, she questioning within herself 
whether to go on or to hold her hand. 

The house was very still. Through the 
open window came the moan of the tide 
and the whisper of the pines — indoors 
there was no sound whatever. Mary got 
up from her seat presently, and moved 
about the room a little — to one window, 
w^hich looked straight into the dense 
shadow of the plantations, then to another 
which had a more open prospect, across the 
corner of the south slope to the head of 


the bay. But she was not noting what 
lay outside the windows ; she was too 
deeply occupied with what was going on 

Irresolution was not an habitual failing 
with her; but to-night she was irresolute. 
She could not decide on her next step. 
Now she had beo:un should she g:o on, and 
tell the whole of her story ? Just now^ 
while he felt grateful for her vindication of 
John's character, he might the more easily 
forgive the duplicity of all these years. 
If she let this opportunity escape her, she 
might never have so favourable a one 
again. She turned and looked atPenhala. 
Should she do it now ? 

He was sitting back in a deep elbow 
chair, with his head supported on his hand. 
He was just beyond the circle of radiance 
thrown by the one reading lamp. ' Just 



in the shadow,' she said, to herself, sor- 
rowfully. About his whole pose there was 
an air of dejection altogether new in her 
experience of him. He was such a cheery- 
hearted man as a rule. Seeing him like 
that her heart misgave her, and she came 
to a decision at last. She would not make 
any further disclosures to-night. Her mind 
once made up, she thought it better to put 
herself beyond the reach of temptation. 

' I suppose I had better not try to see 
Ellaline to-night,' she said, and moved 
towards the door. 

'Ellaline?' he repeated, lifting his head 
quickly, his thoughts returning to the 
present state of affairs just as a bather 
returns to the surface, after a dive to the 
bottom. 'You are not going just yet? 
My dear soul, stay ! This news of yours 
put Ella's affairs clean out of my head. I 


wonder, if we find John, how — But we 
€an discuss that later. My dear Mrs. 
Smith, come here and sit down. Is it 
possible that you have heard nothing of 
what has been going on here to-day.' 

' I have heard nothing since Ellaline 
left me on Tregarron Head, yesterday 
morning,' answered Mary. ' Xothing 

' Did you know — I daresay you did, 
some of the servants knew all along — that 
Ellaline was not really my own daughter 
— that, in fact she is only an adopted 

It was Mary's turn to sit breathless now. 
What was coming^ next ?' 

' Well, that is so ; though it has never 
been much talked about. On the subject 
of her parentage I have always been 
io;norant until this mornins". when, without 



a moment's warning, her father turned up 
and clahned her.' 

Mary rose, aghast. 

' Her father ! Ella's father ! What are 
you saying ?' 

' Yes ; I don't wonder at your astonish- 
ment. The fellow turned up here this 
morning — forced his way into the dining- 
room while we were all at breakfast — half 
drunk, even at that time in the morning. 
A low, strolling blackguard, scarcely better 
than a common tramp. The sort of fellow 
the magistrates would commit to jail with- 
out hesitation, for being without visible 
means of support — a rogue and vagabond 
all through. He knocked Parsons out of 
the way and swaggered in among us, and 
asked for " his daughter — the girl who was 
passing as Mr. Penhala's daughter." Can 
you imagine the scene there was ? Lady 


Glenhaggart on the verge of hysterics, Pin- 
to tryino; to get at the man's throat, little 
Ella — poor little Ella ! — looking like a 
corpse, and showing fight for me through 
all her fright. Paul, who had heard the 
man's tale overnight, was the only one who 
kept his head. Well, it ended in her lady- 
ship and her brood going off there and 
then : but Fitz has stood his ground like a 
man, and Ella and I are to start for town 
presently, and there is to be a run-away 
marriage, in the drawing-room at Eaton 
Square, to-morrow afternoon.' 

' This is a dream ! A nightmare !' cried 
Mary. ^ Ella's father here, this morning, 
do you say ? It is false ! Her father died 
before she was born.' 

Then Penhala too rose, and they stood 
looking at each other across the table. 

'How do you know?' asked Penhala. 


'What do you know of her parentage?" 
' What do I know?' cried Mary, mth a 
sobbing laugh, her caution and self-control 
coming to a sudden end. ' What do I know 
of Ellaline's parentage ? 1 know this much 
— That I am her mother, and that her fa- 
ther, my husband, was your son — the son 
we have just been speaking about, the son 
who was falsely accused of the murder of 
Hasfar Polwhele. the son who was killed in 
a burning house at Doncaster, six months 
before his child was born. What do I 
know !' 

For perhaps a minute they stood, Mary 
sobbing in her throat, though there was no 
sign of tears in her wide, brilliant eyes ; 
Penhala with his gaze reading her wild, 
strained face. 

Then he took a step or two, and held 
out his hands entreatingly. 


' It is true !' lie muttered, brokenly. ' I 
can see it all ! You came here on purpose ! 
I see everythin^^ ! My dear, you must try 
to forgive me the wrong I have done all 
these years to the memory of the dead. 
Rest your head there, my poor sorely-tried 
girl. Let me be a father to you, my dear; 
let us comfort one another, as far as we 
can, for all that has gone before. And our 
jDoor boy is dead — died bearing the burden 
of this cruel injustice — God help him ! — 
and little Ella is my grand-daughter in 
very truth ! I might have known it ! I've 
been a poor, blind fool all through, my 
dear, but I hope you will bear with me, if 
only for Ella's sake.' 

When at last Mary left Penhala alone in 
the library — avowedly to get an hour or 
two of sleep before his early start, though, 


when she closed the door between them, 
he looked as little like sleep as she did — she 
did not attempt to go to bed. In her pres- 
ent condition the forced inaction would 
have driven her mad. 

Everybody else in the house was long 
ago asleep, with the exception of Mrs. 
Quickly, who was dosing in a large chair 
in her own parlour. She would have con- 
sidered she had neglected her duty, if she 
had not been at hand to see that the trav- 
ellers got a comfortable breakfast before 
their early start. 

Mary crept quietly to her room, and put 
on a woollen wrap and some noiseless slip- 
pers, and came out again, and began to 
pace the corridor outside Ellaline's door. 
At three o'clock she was going in to 
waken the girl, and tell her the sweet, 
beautiful secret that had lain locked up 


in her heart all these long silent years. 

Xow that the emancipation of her 
mother's love was so close at hand, she 
began to wonder at her own past strength 
of mind; it struck her as something almost 
unnatural — that j^ast patience of hers. 

Looking back, from her present stand- 
point of exquisite anticipation, at all she 
had gone through in those years of silence 
— the unceasino; o-uard and watchfulness 
on her tongue, that longed so constantly 
to put her mother's love into words, a 
guard all the more difficult to maintain 
because of the child's own impulsive 
affection, which was continually entrapping 
her into little half betrayals — looking back 
at it all, it seemed wonderful that she had 
ever come through the ordeal with her 
secret unspoken. Xow that it was over, 
she felt to the full what it had cost her, 


that unselfish silence of seventeen years ; 
and there was a great, generous gladness 
pulsing at her heart, because she had been 
strong enough to make this sacrifice for 
her darling's good. But she would not 
have gone through those years of self- 
repression again — no, it did not seem to 
her she could — not again, now that her re- 
ward was so nearly within her reach — no, 
not for any bribe the world could offer 

Flitting noiselessly about the silence of 
the great, dimly-lit corridors of the big house 
— for she was obliged every now and again 
to hurry away from the neighbourhood of 
Ellaline's room, because her passionate 
longing to hold the girl in her arms, to tell 
her all there was to tell, came upon her in 
such overpowering rushes, that she knew 
the heart hunger would be too much for 


her if she stayed there, with the handle 
of the door within her reach. And had her 
love borne its imprisonment so bravely all 
these years, to break bounds now, Avithin 
an hour of its deliverance ? 

So she took herself away to some of the 
distant corridors — coming back now and 
then for a glance at her darling's closed 
door — and occupied her time with trying 
to imagine how the child would take the 
news. She pictured the glad light that 
would spring into the scarcely opened 
eyes — surely she would be glad? Oh, 
surely, surely ? To think otherwise caused 
her such acute agony, that she pushed the 
possibility from her as something too terri- 
ble to contemplate. She fancied the warm,^ 
brimmino; love of the (AvVs fflance as the 
truth broke in on her understanding ; the 
glad little cry, the quick, eager, outstretched 


arms, the close, clinging, heart-whole kiss, 
all the rapture of the exquisite moment she 
went through in anticipation a dozen — 
twenty times, till she found the tears 
welling up for very happiness, and abused 
herself roundly for being so weak as to 

She spent some thought on the more 
prosaic part of the business too. She won- 
dered a great deal on the subject of 
this sham father's individuality, and his 

If the approaching disclosure of her true 
relationship to Ellaline could have gained 
in gladness from any cause whatever, it 
would have done so from the circumstances 
under which it was to be made. This 
timely declaration of her identity w^ould 
put an end, at once and for ever, to the 
pretensions of this make-believe father. 

PENHALA. 17.^ 

There was an added delight in this thought ^ 
it reassured her too, as to Ellaline's re- 
ception of her news. Xot that she had any- 
actual doubt on that point, only it was 
pleasant to think that, even from a worldly 
point of view, Ellaline would be likely to 
welcome the relationship — her ' Mamma 
Mary ' as a mother would certainly be pre- 
ferable to this sottish tramp as a father. 

And so Mary thought her joyful 
thoughts, wandering noiselessly about the 
big, shadowy house in a happiness too 
intense for rest. And when, over the 
black line of the pines in the north-east, 
the twilight of the short summer night 
began to brighten into day, she took up 
her post at one of the windows on that 
side of the house, and watched the glad 
birth of the morning ; watched the blue 
dawn pale shade by shade into gray, and 


then brighten into an exquisite glow of 
softest, most translucent gold ; which was 
not brighter nor more beautiful, she said 
to herself, than the glow of gladness at 
her heart. 

And then the clock struck three, each 
stroke vibrating, as if with life, on the 
clear, perfect stillness of the morning air. 
Mary stood with happy eyes counting 
them. No, she would not be impatient 
now! She waited until the third stroke 
clanged out, and turned and ran, swiftly 
and silently, across the width of the house 
to Ellaline's room. 

And then the stillness of the summer 
dawn was cleft by a wailing cry, a cry 
which brought every soul in the house 
Vvdde awake at a breath, not because of 
its loudness, but because of its bitter 


Mrs. Quickly yvRs first on the scene ; 
but even as she appeared the sound of 
hurrying feet was already echoing down 
the several stairways, and by the time Mr. 
Penhala found his way up from the dis- 
tant library, there were a dozen frio-htened 
faces gathered round the open door of 
Ellaline's dressino'-room. 

He guessed in an instant at the truth, 
just as Mary had done. His glance had 
no sooner travelled from the prostrate 
figure at Mrs. Quickly 's feet to the smooth, 
empty bed in the room beyond, than he 
knew all there was to know. 

For form's sake he put a few questions, 
and learnt in reply that Ellaline had 
received a letter by hand, shortly after 
dinner, while she was superintending 
her packino; ; and had at once put on a 
hat and a cloak and gone out, leaving 


the house by the drawing- room window. 

Without the loss of a moment he 
ordered a horse to be saddled to carry a 
message to the station-master, for trans- 
mission to all the stations along the line ; 
and sent the rest of the large household, 
men and w^omen, searching the house 
inside and out, and the plantations 

But he knew beforehand that that part 
of the search was waste of trouble, knew 
it from the start, knew it so well, that 
when the news came back, between five 
and six o'clock, that two people, answering 
to the description of Mr. Thomas Jones 
and Ellaline, had booked last night, by 
the ten fifteen train, from the little station 
at Cluth-hoe junction for Plymouth, he 
accepted the information without a re- 

PENH ALA. 177 

He went down to the Carn Ruth station 
then, and sent off messages to Paul and 
Fitzwarrene to return at once ; also to the 
heads of the police at Plymouth, Exeter 
and Bristol, hoping to stop the impudent 
kidnapper before he had got out of the 
west country. But he had an inward 
conviction all the time that his labour was 
so much waste of pains, that their only 
hope lay in Ellaline herself. 

' But then,' as he pointed out to Mary 
— poor, white-faced, trembling Mary, who 
could rest nowhere, but spent the cruel 
hours wandering up and down the house, 
in and out of the rooms, almost as if she 
expected, even yet, to stumble across the 
missing girl quietly reading or sewing in 
some unexplored nook or corner — ' but 
then, you see, Mary, the pity of it is, that 
the child still thinks he is her father, and 



there is no knowins^ to what extent the 
scoundrel may play upon her sympathy, 
and filial duty, and all the rest of it. If 
you had only been at home when the 
blackguard made his claim, the imposition 
would have been exposed at once/ 

]\Iary wrung her hands despairingly. 

' You understand what kept me there, 
by that man's death-bed ? My heart was 
set on clearing John's name. And for 
Ella's sake too ' 

' My dear,' said Penhala, interrupting 
her tenderly, ' you don't think I was blam- 
ing you ! God forbid that you should 
think such a thing as that ! What I meant 
to say was, that it was such an unfortunate 
chance that you should have happened to 
be out of the way just that very day. 
Don't think that I'm ungrateful for the 
service you have rendered to my dead 


boy's name. Your absence was one of 
those unlucky accidents that are always 
happening in this work-a-day world. It 
was to be, I suppose.' 

Into Mary's tortured mind there leapt 
ii sudden thought from out the dim past. 

She remembered that when John — in the 
very earliest days of their acquaintance — 
had been regretting the loss of a packet of 
papers, because it prevented his carrying 
out a promise made to a dead friend, he 
had made use of the expression, ' It is all 
a part of the shadow that is on me.' The 
words flashed into her mind now. With- 
out any thought or effort of her own they 
were there, vivid, almost audible. 

' Part of the shadow !' Was this also 
' a part of the shadow ?' she asked herself 
sorrowfully, of the shadow that was on her 
poor dead love, that when she was using 



her best efforts for his good, and the good 
of his child, it should end in harm for 
Ellaline, a harm of which nobody could 
yet see the extent or the end. 



petrovsky's check-mate. 

Paul and Fitz travelled down again the 
next day by the Cornish Express. Mr. 
Penhala's telegrams had routed them out 
of their beds before seven o'clock. 

Fitz was in that condition, in speaking of 
which one can only use a very worn-out 
phrase, and say, ' It can be more easily 
imagined than described.' 

To what pitch he would have worked 
himself up, if Penhala had informed him 


that the man, Tom Jones, was no more 
the father of Ellaline than he was the 
' Pope of Rome,' it is impossible to con- 
ceive. Even now, while ignorant of the 
imposture — for, in the telegrams, Penhala 
had not touched on Mary's disclosure — the 
only known thing in the world he bore any 
resemblance to. was a volcano in a state of 
active eruption. 

Before starting from Paddington he had 
telegraphed, asking Penhala to wire the 
latest news to all the stations they stopped 
at on the way down. 

Making the very best you can of it, it is 
a tremendous journey from London into the 
heart of Cornwall ; eight good, solid hours 
of clatter, and shake, and roar in the close 
confinement of a railway carriage ; but 
when to this is added the companionship of 


a young man who shifts his seat about 
once in every five minutes, takes a sharp 
tramp up and down the carriage once in 
every ten, and varies the monotony in be- 
tween whiles with sudden explosions of 
violent rage, directed against nobody in 
particular, and which therefore are as like- 
ly to be intended for the companion of his 
solitude as for anybody else, it will be 
easily understood that Petrovsky's return 
to his uncle's house was not made under 
the most pleasant circumstances in the 

But Pinto's volcano-like condition seem- 
ed to have very little efi*ect upon him. 
There were times during the journey 
when, for an hour at a stretch, he seemed 
absolutely unconscious of his impetuous 
fellow-traveller's presence. At these times 


he sat with his face slightly turned to the 
window, his chin drooped on his chest, 
his features as immobile as if carved in 

If his face yesterday, during the scene 
w^ith John Penhala, had looked like stone 
heated to incandescence, to-day it looked 
like stone that had gone through that 
white heat stage, and reached the calx 
state, as if all nourishment had been 
scorched out of his skin, burnt out by the 
consuming fire of his own furnace-like 

The eyes looked still hot, the whites 
were bloodshot, the lids stretched and 
hideously wrinkled, the pupils contracted, 
restless, observant yet furtive, watching 
everything, yet seeing nothing ; the eyes 
of one who had not known sleep for days 
— the eyes of one to whom sleep would 


henceforth be an impossibility, for ever, 
and ever, and ever, the eyes of one already 

Sitting there, with his glance always 
directed through the window, away from 
his companion, that flickering of his eyes 
grew so unceasing, so perpetual, that the 
actual mechanism of the eye-ball must 
have ached with the incessant friction. 
But he was not conscious of the incon- 
venience, he was past the reach of any 
suffering merely physical. 

The only times he roused up to any 
interest in his surroundings was when, 
as often as they stopped, Fitz made his 
desperate rushes to the telegraph offices. 
It was evident by his manner at these 
times, that his pre-occupation did not 
arise from indifference to 2^assing events. 

Poor, distrau2fht Fitz was not more 

186 PENH ALA. 

eao:er than he for news of the missinor 
girl. He was never a step behind when 
that impetuous fellow put his enquiries to 
the clerk in charge, he never lost a word 
of the clerk's answers. 

No news at Swindon — their first stop — 
no news at Bristol, no news at Exeter, 
none at Plymouth. 

The warm June afternoon was creeping 
on by this time, and Pinto's fresh, jolly 
young face was beginning to show signs 
of the stress and strain he was going 

It was at this last place that Petrovsky 
made his first voluntary remark since the 
beginning of the journey. 

' I suppose,' he said to the lad in charge 
of the telegraph office, ' you don't know 
of any accident having occurred on the 
line hereabouts, in the past night? No 


body found on the rails, or anything of 
that sort?' 

Pinto turned of a sickly greenish pallor 
as he heard, and when they were back in 
the carriage again — travelling more leis- 
urely now that they were past the large 
towns — he asked Petrovsky what had 
made him put the question. 

' You don't think that drunken brute 
has only taken her away to murder her^ 
do you?' 

But Petrovsky could give no explan- 
ation of his conduct. ' The idea had come 
into his head,' he said, ' and he had put it 
into words, that was all.' 

But there came a time, when all this 
fume, and torment, and agony of mind 
were over, when Fitz recalled this curious 
question of the Russian's, and fitting it 
into its place, among other odds and ends 

188 PENH ALA. 

of words, and looks, and actions and half- 
breatlicd nothings, found a strange, 
ghastly significance in it. 

Just now all he did, when this new and 
terrible suggestion was presented to him, 
was to drop his face forward in his hands 
with a moan of misery, and let it stop 
there. For the rest of the long ride 
Petrovsky himself was not stiller than 

During the last hour or so of the 
journey a gi'eat mental change came over 
Petrovsky. His plan had miscarried — that 
was obvious ; and with his life-long in- 
stincts for the advancement of the Cause 
all up in arms, he yet could not shut out 
of his mind the relief that came with the 
knowledge. Ellaline had escaped after 
all ! As this belief strengthened moment- 
arily, the horrible strain of the last twenty- 

PENHALA. 189* 

four hours relaxed. He lost his ghastly 
feeling of blood-guiltiness. He no longer 
stood on a plane apart from his kind. 
He became human again. And now it was 
once more possible to think of himself 

What if John had meant, from the 
beginning, only to place the girl in safety 
before proceeding to denounce him as her 
would-be murderer ? 

John could have but one motive for 
breaking faith with him — to rescue Ellaline 
from the danger which was threatening her. 
Very well ; in following that course he 
knew the risk he was running ; the con- 
sequences would fall on his own head. 

As his sense of relief on Ellaline"s ac- 
count took form and colour in his mind^ 
side by side with it there came into being 
a passionate hatred of John. While his 
heart could not restrain its gladness at 


Ellaline's deliverance, it burnt with re- 
sentment against her deliverer. That this 
poor, hunted wretch, who, for the last 
twenty years and more had crept about the 
world, hiding himself under a hundred 
aliases, with the hangman's rope half 
round his neck — that such a one should, 
when tested, prove the better man of the 
two, roused in Paul's perverted mind the 
bitterest animosity. 

As for the scheme for obtaining posses- 
sion of the Penhala property, if John went 
the length of putting the girl on her guard 
against him, that was ruined irretrievably, 
past all restoring. 

And the failure of this scheme meant 
his condemnation at the hands of his fellow- 
workers — as certainly as he knew that the 
sun would rise to-morrow morning, he 

PENH ALA, 191 

kneAv that he would be held responsible 
for the disclosure of the plot against 
Ellaline. Immense pressure had been 
brought to bear upon him in this matter ; 
special expenses had been incurred, and 
a life most precious to the Nihilist com- 
munity had been placed in deadly 
jeopardy, to give him the benefit of that 
interview in Leicester Square a few days 

And after all the trouble and risk and 
expense that had been gone to, to obtain 
for him the advice and instruction of one 
looked upon by his co-labourers as almost 
infallible, he had chosen to disregard the 
proiFered counsel, to relegate the work 
entrusted to his hands to another, with the 
result which was to be expected — the mis- 
carriage of the particular scheme in hand, 


and the probable exposure of the secret 
mechanism of the confederation to the 
world at large. 

Well, he had been false to his oath of 
obedience, and he must expect to pay 
the penalty. He did not rebel at that, not 
for an instant. Life with him had not 
been such a joyous undertaking, that its 
shortening, by a few years more or less, 
was a thing to be regretted. He should 
make no attempt to escape the punishment 
he had fairly earned. There was only 
one thing his gorge rose at — that the man 
who had wrecked his plans should get off 
without reaping in turn the full harvest 
of his treachery. For himself, he would 
not avoid his sentence, no matter what 
form it took, if he could ensure beforehand 
that the law would at last close its grip 
on John Penhala. 


In all probability he, Petrovsky, was the 
only human being who knew the true 
identity of the wayside wizard, who had 
turned up in such a mysterious manner at 
Carn Ruth ; and his one fear now was that 
the doom of the traitor, which might even 
now be dogging his steps, might overtake 
him before he could find an opportunity to 
pass this knowledge on to the quarter 
where it would bear fruit. 

To-morrow he would return to London 
again. Unless, indeed, anything happened 
in the interim to lead to a change of plan. 
He would be in town again by to-morrow 
evening, and he would lose no time in im- 
parting his information concerning John 
Penhala, to those who would take im- 
mediate action upon it. Afterwards — the 
end ; the sooner the better. 

When the two young men arrived at 


194 PENH ALA. 

Carn Ruth, they found that Mr. Penhala 
and Mrs. Smith were gone to Truro, 
having heard that a man and girl answer- 
ing to the police description of the missing 
people had been seen there. 

' They hoped to be back before the 
morning,' Parsons told them ; ' at the 
latest, they would be back by noon-day to- 
morrow. And the gentlemen were to 
nwait their return ; unless any likely news 
arrived from another quarter. In which 
case they were to use their own discretion 
about following it up at once.' 

Telegraphic communication had been 
established with the head-quarters of half 
a dozen county constabularies, but the 
night passed away, and the morning came, 
without anything further being heard of 
rthe runaways. 

Petrovsky passed the night pacing the 


drive. Bed was out of the question for 
him, and he wanted to have the first pick 
of any news arriving;. Xone came, how- 
ever, and when Fitz came out to him in the 
early morning, he announced his intention 
of returning to town forthwith, and setting 
the London detective force to work. 

He could not bear the monotony of this 
waiting, he said ; he should go mad under 
the suspense, unless he were able to shake 
off thought in action. 

Fitz looked at him in surprise, but said 
nothing. He was thinking of Petrovsky's 
manner during the journey yesterday, and 
wondering. This nephewof Mr. Penhala's 
had always been such a silent, secretive 
sort of chap, since Fitz had known any- 
thing of the Penhala household, that that 
good-natured young blunderer — who never 
troubled himself to look below the surface 


196 PENH ALA. 

of things, having hitherto been content to 
take the world as he found it — had set 
him down as ' one of those fellows born 
with the constitution of a jelly fish.' The 
idea that perhaps he had been mistaken 
in his estimation of the sallow-skinned 
Russian — more mistaken than he had ever 
been before in his life — flashed upon him 
now with such startling suddenness that 
it knocked the speech out of him, and left 
him looking at his companion in a silence 
which expressed more than he was aware 

Could it be that this quiet, unsociable 
fellow, who had kept him so resolutely at 
arm's length that even his invincible good 
nature had been powerless to overcome his 
distant attitude — could it be that it was 
rather the strength of his feelings than 
the want of them that had produced that 


curiously quiet bearing, that determined 
air of standing aloof from Pinto, and 
everybody connected with him ? 

Was this poor beggar in love with 
Ellaline ? Was that the secret of it all ? 
Fitz felt a twinge of compassion, and 
turned his face away from the other's. 
He would not let him see that his secret 
was suspected. Had he followed his own 
impulses he would have held out his hand 
and said, 

'Is it like that with you, old man? 
Well, she can't care for both of us, and 
since she has the bad taste to prefer me, 
I know we've got your good wishes.' 

But, blunt as his mental vision was in 
many respects, it was keen enough to 
show him that this was not an occasion 
for the bestowal of outspoken sympathy. 
It was one of those little incidents in 


which goodness of heart stand one in as 
good stead as intellectual insight. 

' Do you mean you will go back to 
London at once?' he said. 'Without 
waiting to see Mr. Penhala, or to hear 
what success they've had at Truro ?' 

' You can inform me of that by tele- 
gram,' Paul answered. ' It is only waste 
of time for me to remain here. In town I 
may be able to do some good. If news 
does turn up — which I don't expect — you 
will send it on to me at once ? I shall 
stay at the Great Western for a day or 

Fitz gave the required promise, little 
foreseeing any obstacle in the way of its 
fulfilment, and Paul went into the house 
to make his arrangements for another 
early start. 

PENH ALA. 199 

Parsons, hearing of his intention, came 
to proffer his services. 

' You'll lay yourself up, sir, that will be 
the end of it,' he observed, with the usual 
freedom of an old servant. ' It's madness 
to undertake such a journey as that three 
days running. You look worn to death 

Paul smiled and let that point pass. 

' I was going to send for you,' he said. 
' I want you to do me a favour, Parsons.' 

' Well, that's a chance you don't often 
give to anyone, sir,' answered the old 
man. ' I shall be very pleased, I assure 

' It is this,' said Paul, going on busily 
with his packing as he spoke, ' I expect 
that when the news comes of Miss Ella- 
line's whereabouts, my uncle will be in 


such a fever to get to her, that he will 
quite forget me and my anxiety ; in fact, I 
could hardly expect him to remember me 
at such a time. But I shall be anxious, 
Parsons, almost as anxious as he him- 

' Naturally enough, sir,' agreed Parsons. 
* Nobody can know our young lady with- 
out loving her ; God bless her ! Of course 
you will want to hear, it would be strange 
if you didn't.' 

' Well, then, this is what I want you to 
do for me the moment ihe news comes ; I 
want you to find out where they are stay- 
ing, Miss Ellaline and her father, and 
send word to me in town — to the Great 
"Western. I am not going to Eaton Square 
— the hotel will be more convenient in 
every way. Understand me — I don't want 
you to plague and harass anybody on my 


account ^Yitll enquiries ; just keep your 
ears open — when the news does come 
there will be no secret about it, — get hold 
of the name of the place, and send it on 
to me without loss of time. Will you do 
me this little service?' 

'To be sure I will, sir!' returned Par- 
sons, heartily, ' and I wish it was some- 
thing more difficult.' 

There was a curious touch of meaning 
in Petrovsky's manner as he answered, 

' It may not seem much to you, but it 
is very important to me ; let that comfort 
you, Parsons.' 

Parsons made some polite rejoinder as 
he accepted the half-sovereign Paul held 
out to him, ' For the expense of the 

To his dying day, the good old man 
never knew how large a share that tele- 


gram of his had in bringing about all that 
followed. It was as well. If we knew 
all the consequences which sometimes 
result from our most trifling actions, the 
intolerable burden of resj)onsibility Avould 
render life an impossibility, to anybody 
possessed of either a heart or a conscience. 




And John and Ellaline ? 

It was the third day of their companion- 
ship, and Ellaline still said to herself, at 
least once in the course of every waking 
hour, that the whole episode was a dream, 
a strange, pathetic dream, from which she 
would wake up presently, half glad, half 
sad to find it vanished. 

There had been one really terrible ten 
minutes in this dream, and only one ; when 


she first discovered ttat slie was to be 
taken away from Carn Ruth, whether she 
wished it or not. And this discovery she 
had made within an hour of their depart- 
ure from Penhala's house. 

He had not guessed how horribly fright- 
ened she was — she was too courageous to 
let him into that secret — but she had sat 
herself down plump on a heap of stones 
by the roadside, just before they reached 
the Cluth-hoe station, and defiantly stated 
her resolution not to stir an inch further, 
until Mr. Penhala's consent to her re- 
moval had been obtained. 

' You enticed me out of reach of his 
protection with a lie,' she said, passion- 
ately. ' You told me my mother was in 
the neighbourhood. We have come miles. 
There is no mother. You have cheated 


He stood before her bareheaded, in the 
quiet country road, with a look on his 
face that made her half ashamed of her 

Quite alone in the Avorld they seemed, 
those two. 

Just across the dip of the valley, the 
signal lights of the little station showed 
against the blackness of the hill-side ; from 
a long way off there came the faint ribbed 
echo of a departing train. All around 
them was solitude. He could have picked 
her up in his arms and taken her just 
where he would ; all the same, it was he 
who pleaded and she who stormed. 

In all his life he had never spoken a 
hard word nor laid a rough hand on a 
woman. He could not begin now. And 
with this special woman of all the 


So the little creature scolded from her 
heap of stones, and he smiled entreatingly 
down at her, beating his leg with his 
shabby old cap as he listened. 

And seeing that smile, and recognising 
its appeal — knowing all the time how 
powerless she would have been had he 
chosen to brow-beat her — her temper and 
her fright left her all at once. 

' You have cheated me,' she said again, 
but Avith such an utter change of tone, 
that it no longer sounded like an accu- 
sation. ' Why did you tell me a lie ?' 

' I was desperate, little girl,' he answered. 
^ I was so badly frightened this afternoon 
— that's a disagreeable word for a man to 
have to use, but it is the only true one — 
so thoroughly frightened, that, like a 
drowning man, I put out my hand and 


gripped tlie first floating straw. This 
sclieme to entice you away from home was 
the first straw to hand — it promised to 
float me for a day or two, till I could get 
my head to the wind again, so I clutched 
at it. I might have gone away and left 
you, perhaps, but I wanted to look after 
you too, and you were in danger where 
you were.' 

' Danger ?' echoed Ellaline, finding it 
impossible to get down ofl' her stilts all at 
once. ' The only danger that threatened 
me came from yourself. Danger ? Non- 
sense ! I can't think how^ you can be so 
cruel ; after your promise of this morning 
too, not to interfere with me again. Do 
you never speak the truth ?' 

' Not often, indeed ! But I am speaking 
it now. This morning, when I promised 


to molest you no more, I did not know of 
the peril threatening you. Ah, little 
girl, believe me. Try to believe me. 
Have faith in me, and I swear to you, 
by whatever scrap of good there is left 
in me, that, beyond a little rough accom- 
modation, no harm nor breath of harm 
shall come near you through me. Give 
me just a breathing time, a time in which 
to collect my plans, and, whoever else 
suffers, I promise you you shall not. 
You shall go back to your friends the 
worse in no degree for having trusted 

That conversation had taken place within 
an hour of her departure from Carn Ruth, 
and this was the third morning since, and 
in all those three strange, dream-like days, 
she had seen no reason yet to regret having 
trusted him. 


As for him, he was in a maze, and he 
could not see his way out. He had forced 
his mind to the labour of planning their 
route from Cornwall to Sheffield, by 
such circuitous twists and turnino^s as 
would make the task of following them a 
matter of difficulty, and then he had rested 
on his oars, as it were. 

They were both beyond Petrovsky's 
reach for a time ; and he had nearly 
twenty sovereigns in his pocket ; and this 
child and he — this child with Mary Fenti- 
more's voice and smile, her very gestures • 
and trick of speech — were, for this brief 
spell of delight, each the other's world. And 
the trees were just out in their young 
summer beauty, and the nightingales were 
singing of nights in a wooded Derbyshire 
vale that he knew of, and he would have 
one last little glimpse of sweetness and 


210 PENH ALA. 

light, one last deep drauglit of the de- 
lights of freedom, before the end came 
— the end which he felt drawing so 

So Ellaline discarded the lace dinner- 
gown she had been wearing under her long 
cloak, in favour of a stuff skirt and cotton 
blouse, which she bought at one of the 
large Sheffield shops. 

They went off by omnibus — a quaint 
conveyance, like a London 'bus, minus 
the tail half, and the remaining portion 
reduced to a third of its orio;inal size 
— a long afternoon's drive to a lovely, 
sleepy little village, that nestled quietly 
under one of the Derbyshire ranges; a 
retired nook where the buzz and hum of 
the world scarcely ever penetrated ; and 
here, in the drowsy stillness of the 


sheltered valley, he tried to form some 
plan or plans for the child's safety and his 

But, as far as he himself was concerned, 
that discovery of Petrovsky's had thrown 
a mesh round him, from which no planning 
of his own could ever free him. That fact 
he recognised clearly. The barrier between 
himself and the past, which had grown 
up during these twenty- two years of com- 
plete severance — just as the underwood 
wall grow over and obliterate a forest path 
that has fallen into desuetude — had been 
torn down at a touch, and he, John Smith, 
the strolling conjurer, was left exposed 
as John Penhala, the accepted murderer 
of Hagar Polwhele. Glance ahead in 
which direction he would, his own path- 
way was blocked by the one gruesome 

p 2 

212 PENH ALA. 

probability — his arrest, his trial, and — the 
rest ! 

The evening they reached Chorthwats 
he sat in the garden for hours after tired 
little Ellaline had gone to bed. Such a 
lovely little bed-room she was sleeping 
in ! — all sloping ceiling, and big dormer 
windows, and dimity and painted wood, 
and the odour of lavender about every- 
thino'. A trout-stream was murmurino: 
an accompaniment to the lullaby of the 
nightingales in the garden beneath, and 
long rose-boughs tapped entreatingly at 
the leaded casement, as the soft breeze 
swung them to and fro in the scented air. 
Such a picture of a room it was, such a 
room as you only see in books and — 
dreams. John sat below the rose-boughs 
and the window for hours that night, 


puffing slowly at the first pipe lie had 
smoked all day, and trying in vain ' to 
see his way through.' 

Half-a-dozen different schemes he planned, 
but they all broke down on the one point — 
his own ultimate safety. If he put this 
child or her guardians on their guard 
against the designs of Petrovsky's crew, 
the other event would follow as surely as 
the night followed the day. And he was 
so horribly frightened of it ! Sudden 
death he could have faced without a 
tremor ; it was the thought of the long, 
dreary ceremonial of legal proceedings 
which unnerved him so deplorably. The 
trial, stretching out day after day, the 
lawyers* squabbles, the stirring into life 
again of the long forgotten past^ the 
renewed humiliation and grief for his 


father, his own exposure during the trial 
to the morbid curiosity of the public ^ 
his nightly return to the ghastly solitude 
of his cell, with the one end always in 
front of him — is it wonderful he flinched 
from it ? 

He fell asleep at last, in the very height 
of his troubled perplexity, and the good- 
natured landlady, coming out at closing 
time, found him there, and sent her hus- 
band out to aw^aken him, and bring him 
in out of the dew. 

Sleep was a long time coming after he 
was in his room — that first nap had taken 
off the edge of his fatigue — but, late 
though he was awake, he was up and out 
again before the early household was astir 
in the morning. He had a sudden new 
love at his' heart for the world and all 


that was in it, he wanted to see all he 
could of it. He was growing miserly in 
the matter of time, and would not waste 
the precious hours in sleep. There 
would be plenty of time for rest by-and- 


He took his quiet way through the still 
slumbering village street, and turned off 
over a stile, and through a chain of 
meadows, to the bosky enclosures of a 
gentleman's park ; not a few paddocks 
and spinneys with a railing round them, 
but a real park, with vast solitudes in 
it — huge patches of woodland, which 
looked more like remnants of primeval 
forest than planted timber. 

As he pushed his Avay across the open 
land to the shadow of the big trees, the 
dew fell in showers from the knee-high 

216 PENHAL^V. 

grass. Away in the distance the outline 
of the hills rose against the horizon, like 
a fair fantasy of dip and curve and crest- 
ed peak, looking as transparent, seen 
through the pellucid haze of the summer 
morn, as the atmosphere above them. 
All around him the birds were piping 
as they never pipe at any other hour 
in the twenty-four, and behind him 
the chimes of the church, striking the 
hour, blended solemnly with the gayer 
music. It seemed to him that there was 
a note of warning amid the melody of the 
bells, and the thought jarred on him. It 
was almost cruel just then, that warning 
of the flight of time ! 

In all his life nothing had ever looked 
so beautiful to him as that Derbyshire ^ 
valley on that June morning. 

As he gazed round and round, drinking in 


the sweetness of scent and sipjlit and sound, 
that strange pathetic sadness, which is an 
inherent part of true nature-worship, rose 
suddenly ujjpermost in his mind, andturned 
his rapture to pain. It was a foretaste of 
the ' sweet sorrow ' of parting, he said to 
himself with a pang; and then put the 
fancy from him, and drew his thoughts 
back to the immediate proceedings in 

He would fetch the little girl out here. 
They would bring their breakfast in a 
basket, and eat it here, on a log in the 
•wood, with the smell of last year's leaves 
blending with the perfume of the newly- 
burst honeysuckle. They would make 
holiday like two unequally-mated babes in 
the wood. And when the holiday was 
over they would go back to the work-a-day 
world again, and he would force him- 


self to be prosaic, and matter-of-fact, and 
long-headed, and they would take seri- 
ous counsel together as to their future 

He went back to the little inn under the 
big chestnut-tree — Longfellow might have 
had the tiny house in his mind's eye when 
he drew his village smithy — and sent a 
message up to Ellaline, to hasten out be- 
fore the birds had finished their morning 
service of song ; and packed with his own 
hands a dainty breakfast basket, milk and 
home-baked cakes, and fresh pulled green- 
stuiF, and slices of shell-pink ham, and a 
few early strawberries — a very few, for 
June was not yet half-way through — all 
folded up in the whitest of damask. 

He was waiting at the stair-foot when 
Ellaline came down. She clasped her hands- 
when she saw him there, with the basket 

PENH ALA. 219 

on his arm. It was all part of this strange, 
wonderful dream of hers — this dream, 
which would have been so beautiful, but 
for a curious little undercurrent of sorrow 
which ran through it all ; an undercurrent 
which was perhaps caused by her know- 
ledge of the anxiety her dear ones must be 
suffering on her account. 

It was a delio^htful little feast they had 
out there, in the shadow of the stately 
forest trees, and not the least beautiful part 
was the lovely peace that surrounded them 
on all sides. The birds had finished their 
morning thanksgiving, and, except for an 
occasional twitter, the silence around them 
w^as absolute. So utterly still was it, that 
when a hare passed near them by-and-by, 
and, scenting their presence, scudded away 
through the loose crust of last year's 
leaves, they could hear the rustle of the 


•crisp fragments under lier light tread for 
a long time after slie was lost to view, 
trailing off fainter and fainter, till it was 
lost altogether in the heart of the wood. 

The silence settled down again. Ellaline 
was curled up in the forked iDranch of a 
felled tree on the edge of the thicket, her 
companion sat bareheaded, with his back 
against it, a little lower down, with his fin- 
gers interlaced loosely below his knees, 
and his glance far away, on the hill line 
against the sky in the distance. 

' I suppose,' he began, breaking the 
silence with a half-stifled sigh, ' I suppose 
everybody in this world has their own 
ideal Heaven.' Ellaline looked a little 
surprised. She had not thought it w^as a 
question admitting of a diversity of opin- 
ion. ' This is my ideal — peace, and rest 
from all strife and turmoil.' 


Ellaline did not make any answer. It 
was not a subject she felt qualified to 

He turned a little and smiled at her, and 
the smile was so exactly the bright, clear^ 
candid smile of the happy boy, John Pen- 
hala, that if his father had seen him at 
that moment, with his own natural soul 
shining up through the coarse coating of 
these later years, he must inevitably have 
recognised him. The self-restraint he had 
practised during these three days of com- 
panionship with this pure-minded child, 
had already worked this change in him. 
So fatally plastic his nature remained, even 

Ellaline answered the smile at once. 
Her heart always warmed towards her 
father when he smiled. 

' And there really is a touch of paradise 


about this little excursion,' he went on ; 
' even to the lamb lying down with the 
lion — or the leopard, is it?' 

'Does that mean you and me?' asked 
Ellaline, with a touch of wistfulness in her 
look — she did not play off her little tyran- 
nies upon him, as of old upon Mr. Penhala. 
' It is not a happy simile, dear. I'm afraid 
there is not much of the typical lamb about 
me, and there is still less of the lion about 

' I should have thought I was sufficiently 
terrible though, to a child brought up as 
you have been, a la princesse^ he said, still 
smiling. ' It is not many delicately-brought- 
up girls who would so soon have overcome 
their natural shrinking from a man who 
came with my introductions. It still 
strikes me with a sort of wonder, little girl, 


as often as I think of it — your confidence 
in me.' 

' Is it so wonderful, then — confidence 
between father and child?' 

A shadow dimmed the quiet gladness of 
his glance for a moment. 

' Then if I were to say to you now — this 
moment — that I had been deceiving you 
all this time, that I was not your father, 
you would no longer have any confidence 
in me?' 

She lauo^hed a tender little lauo^h as she 
gave her answer. 

' I should not believe you if you said 
such a thing as that. If you were not my 
father we should not have learnt to love 
each other in three days, as we have done. 
But, in any case, I am sure I should never 
be afraid of you now, if that is what you 


mean.' She put her hand on his hair, and 
smoothed it gently. ' Such pretty hair/ 
she said, ' in spite of the many, many white 
threads. Not ray father, indeed ! Why^ 
that nice little woman down at the inn said 
I was the very moral of you — whatever 
that may mean. I think you must have 
been a very charming-looking young man, 
father.' She lauo;hed a little ao;ain. 
' What shameless vanity to put those two 
observations after one another like that !' 

He was examining her face curiously. 
Was that the touch of familiarity that had 
struck lum in her features that first day 
on the race-course : the resemblance to his 
own? There was a likeness, of a kind. 
How strangely these things fell out ! It 
w^as odd that, though he attached no im- 
portance to the discovery of this likeness, 
it checked his intention to tell her the 

PENH ALA. 225 

truth concerning the imposture. He had 
meant to tell her the whole thing this 
morning, now he made up his mind to wait. 
He would make a free confession when 
her friends came to take her home ; until 
then he would leave her under her present 
peaceful delusion. 

He caught her hand presently, as it 
travelled softly over his head, and kissed 
it gently, and put it back on her own knee. 
She had noticed l3efore how carefully he 
resisted any of her small attempts at a 
closer familiarity. 

' I am going to talk business now,' he 
said ; ' and I can't talk sensibly with your 
finger-tips so near to my thinking 
apparatus. You have been very good 
and patient, and now you are to have 
your reward. You shall communicate 
with your friends by to-night's post.' 



A brighter light flashed into her 

' How do you think it would answer if 
we were to ask Mr. Pinto to come along 
here, with that special license in his 

' How did you know about that ?' she 
cried. But he only smiled at her blushes, 
and shook his head. 

'You forget, I am a magician,' he said, 
gaily. ' What do you say ? Shall we 
have a wedding here, in that quiet little 
gray stone church ? I should feel much 
more contented about you, if I once saw 
you safe under that manly young fellow's 

' If I may have my own choice,' she 
said, v/ith a touch of shyness in her 
manner, ' I would rather have my dear Mrs. 
Smith come to me, than anybody.' 


' That is your old governess ?' 

' And my adopted mother.' 

' Personally, I would rather hand you 
over to Pinto. A woman is not much 
good when there is real danger about.' 

' Danger ?' she echoed, looking a little 
roused. ' Protection ? Danger ? What 
danger are you hinting at ? Before you 
brought me away from Cornwall, everybody 
said my only danger came from you — the 
fear of you carrying me off. Xow you 
have got me away, you say it was to save 
me from danger that you did it, and that 
there is danger in my return !' 

' Oh, well, that is rather a big name to 
give it,' he said, not seeing how any good 
was to be gained by alarming her, and 
deciding to reserve his warning for those 
who took her out of his charge. ' The 
fact is merely this — I got hold of some 



knowledge, before we left Cornwall, which 
made me think Paul Petrovsky was not 
very well disposed towards you ; and I 
think your friends should be warned, before 
you meet him again, that he is no friend of 

' What— Paul ? Oh, poor Paul ! I think 
there must be a mistake somewhere, 
because — I don't like to talk about it, but 
I think you ought to know. Poor Paul 
liked me only too well. He asked me 
to marry him.' 

'Asked you to marry him?' This in- 
formation rather took his breath away.. 
What had been the motive of the proposal V 
Had the monster meant to poison his young 
Avife after marriage ? Or was it done 
merely to divert suspicion from himself? 
'Well,' he said, ' we will agree to think that 


I have made a mistake, but I shall ask 
you to let me have my own way so far as 
this — that you don't, when you leave me, 
travel back with only Mrs. Smith for a 
companion. You shall have Mrs. Smith if 
you like, but let me send word to Pinto, 
also, where you are to be found.' 

' That you shall do as you will about.' 
' And — one thing more while we are dis- 
cussing business. When you write to 
your friend, will you impress upon her the 
necessity of keeping your whereabouts a 
secret from Petrovsky ? On no account 
must she let him know she is coming to 
you. You think I am making a mystery 
out of nothing, I can see. Well, then, I 
must let you into a little secret of my own. 
Whether Petrovsky is your enemy or not, 
he certainly is mine, and I want to return 


you into your friend's liands, and get 
away again — out of the country, if 
possible — before he finds out where 1 am. 
He holds a secret of mine, a dangerous 
secret, which he will expose without the 
slightest compunction, when he hears 
that you are returning to his uncle's 

She drew her breath in swiftly, and 
leant over towards him to look into his 

' Of course !' she said, ' I might have 
known there was something of that sort. 
How else is it possible to understand this 
life of yours ? On the race-courses — among 
such — oh, it must be terrible for you 
sometimes. For you who love all that is 
good and beautiful. Oh, I know ! I have 
seen the pain and the longing for some- 


thing cliiFerent in your eyes. I saw it 
last night, when we were in the garden 
listening to the choir practising in the 
church, and I saw it just now, when you 
were looking at the hills over there. To 
lead the life you have led must have been 
torment unspeakable sometimes.' 

' I would not go back to it,' he burst 
out, and stopped, and went on again more 
quietly, ' yes, I would rather finish my 
life now, and have done with it, than go 
back to the old tread-mill, that old exist- 
ence of which I cannot even speak to you, 
or such as you, little girl.' 

' But you will not do that,' she said. 

He only smiled and shook his head a 
little, not looking at her, and something 
in the smile, its endurance, its hopeless- 
ness, stormed her tender heart with a swift 


rush of pity and love. Slie slipped from 
her perch to the ground at his side, and 
put an arm half timidly round his 

' Dear father,' she whispered, ' let me 
give up that other plan and come with 
you, wherever it is you are going. Fitz 
and I are young, we can spare some time 
to you. Now that we have found one 
another, let us stay together for a time. 
I will try to make your life happier than 
it has been. And for the poverty — well, 
we will bear it together, dear. Let us go 
away, abroad, and be a comfort to each 
other ; somewhere where this unhappy 
secret of yours will no longer have the 
power to overshadosv your life. They — 
those dear people who have loved me so 
well all my life — had a name for me — 
Miss Sunshine. Let me try to be your 


sunshine, clear. Don't send me from 
you when you need me so badly.' 

Such a look came over him as he lis- 
tened, as paid her there and then for the 
unselfishness of the offer. He held her 
off and looked at her, with a light in his 
eyes, and a quiver about his lips, as if the 
joy and gladness at his heart were more 
than he could contain. Perhaps, for the 
space of five seconds, there may have been 
some mad thought in his mind of accept- 
ing the proposal, but it came and went 
like a flash of summer licrhtnino; athwart 
the evening sky, and left as little sign or 
token behind it. 

That, indeed, would have been to crown 
his record of crime with foul dishonour. 

But for a breath the temptation was 
there, pulsing through his veins, dazzling 
him by its radiance. Then he drew her 


to him, and laid his first and last kiss on 
her sweet, pure young lips. 

' God bless you for the offer, little girl,' 
he said, with a something akin to rever- 
ence in his manner, ' but such comfort as^ 
that is not for me.' 

He put her quietly from him, and got 
up and walked away a little distance, and 
stood with his back towards her, with his 
eyes once more fixed on the evanescent 
purple of the distant hills. He was- 
steadied again Avhen he faced round. 

' Come,' he said, ' let us get back and 
write those letters. The post is sure to 
leave this out-of-the-way place at some 
unearthly hour.' 

How could Ellaline help an inward flut- 
ter of gladness as she heard? But she 
had meant every word of her offer when 


she made it, and all her life long she was 
glad that she had made it ; glad, too, that 
she had made it from her heart, in perfect 

And so they passed together, out of the 
shadow of the chestnuts into the brilliance 
of the summer noon, and took their way 
back to the village. 

There was music o-oino' on ao-ain inside 
the church, and they paused for a moment 
in the shelter of the lych-gate to listen. 
His glance went wandering over the neatly- 
kept graves. 

' A veritable " garden of sleep," ' he said. 
' I should scarcely think the ^^eople buried 
here ever turn in their graves — they lie 
too quietly. I should think one could 
hardly help but rest here, with the little 
birds above you, telling one another their 


love-stories all the day long, and the river 
there, singing your lullaby all through the 
darkness. A " garden of sleep " indeed V 




They had carefully calculated the earliest 
moment at which Mrs. Smith and Fitz 
could reach Chorthwats. Providing they 
started by the first train leaving Cam 
PbUth after the receipt of Ellaline's letters, 
and travelled by the quickest and most 
direct route available, as Ellaline knew 
they would do, they should reach Chor- 
thwats between three and four in the 


John had mapped out his plans with the 
nicest exactitude. 

He meant, first and foremost, to avoid 
the pain of a farewell scene with Ellaline. 
It would only increase his heart-ache, and 
(jod knew that was unnecessary. 

He had written a letter to leave behind 
for Pinto, containing a full and careful 
account of the compact between himself 
and Petrovsky — the removal of Ellaline on 
his side, for the preservation of his secret 
on Petrovsky's. In proof of his statement, 
he asked Mr. Pinto to trace the twenty- 
pound-note, which he had changed at the 
€luth-hoe station, backwards to Petrov- 
sky's possession. That would establish 
the fact that he had provided funds for 
Ellaline's abduction. He also enclosed 
the globule he had received from the 
Russian to administer to Ellaline. 


' Have it analysed,' he wrote, ' and judge 
of his motives from the analyst's report. 
And bear this one point emphatically in 
mind — that in disclosing this scheme to 
you, I am actuated by one motive only, the 
preservation of Miss Ellaline's life. There 
is no touch of spite against Petrovsky in 
my mind, I am only anxious to put you 
on vour o^uard ao;ainst him. Before you 
condemn me too severely for the part I 
have played in this business, I would have 
you call to mind that my main object in 
carrying the young lady off, was to remove 
her for a time — till I could look about me 
and make preparations for my own escape 
— from the dangerous neighbourhood of 
Petrovsky. If I had defied him there, in 
Cornwall, my doom was sealed. From 
here I shall have a better chance, not much 
perhaps, still, it is not quite so hopeless 


as the other. One request I would make 
on my own part. If you can at all recon- 
cile it to your notions of what is clue to 
your future wife, I would ask you not to 
betray to her the fact of my imposture — 
let her think of me as her father till the 
end of the chapter. Blackguard as I am, 
I have a strain of sentiment left in me 
somewhere, and it would be a great pleasure 
for me to know that now and then, in the 
pauses of her happy life, she still gave a 
kind thought to me.' 

This letter, written and carefully sealed, 
with the tiny box enclosed, he consigned it 
to his innermost pocket. He would hand 
it over to the landlady at the last moment 
before his dej^arture, when he had seen 
little Miss Sunshine safe in the presence of 
her friends. 

He had planned to walk into Sheffield, 

PENH ALA. 241 

and g(it down to Hull on board one of the 
cargo-barges ; from thence to ship across to 
Antwerp or Holland, and from there to 
work his passage on board one of the big 
steamers to America or Australia. If he 
was once out of England he would have no 
further fear of Petrovsky. His great terror 
was that he might be pounced on here — 
before he could make a bid for liberty. 

Ellaline had read to him the letter she 
wTote to Mrs. Smith, and he knew that, in 
the face of what the child had said there,, 
her friends were not likely to let Petrov- 
sky into the secret of her present where- 
abouts. He told himself, again and again, 
that the danger from the Russian was not 
a pressing danger ; that, for at least a day 
or two, he was safe from the threatened 
revenge of the man whom he had tricked 
all round; and yet he could not shake 



off a haunting sense of insecurity. It 
was natural, considering the matter at 

As the time drew near for the arrival of 
Mrs. Smith and Pinto, he made a pretence 
of going for a walk, and went and hid him- 
self in a leafy bower at the bottom of the 
garden, from whence, through the foliage, 
himself unseen, he could keep a watch on 
the front of the house. 

In the landlady's best upstairs sitting- 
room — lent for the occasion — Ellaline was 
waiting. She was in such a curious con- 
dition of mind, that she could not make 
out whether the tears, which would brim 
over every now and again, proceeded from 
overwhelming rapture at the prospect of 
the meeting at hand, or heart-breaking- 
grief at the separation from her father, 


^vhlch was to follow it. Even now she 
tried to hope that, when they were all 
together, she and Fitz and Mamma Mary, 
they might succeed in persuading this 
dear, tardily-found father of hers to alter 
his mind ; so far at least as not to separate 
himself from them in the wholesale fashion 
he contemplated. 

John was not smoking out there in the 
arbour. His tribulation was beyond the 
reach of the habitual soother. He sat on 
the bench with his elbows on his knees, 
and his chin on his hands ; his glance for 
the most part of the time resting on the 
open meads, across the brawling little river 
at his feet. It was not until he heard 
signs of movement that he turned his eyes 
to the doorway of the inn. 

It was but an interrupted view he got 



of the front of the house, through the foli- 
age of the garden hedge, but he needed no 
sight of Pinto when he arrived. He heard 
his big, jolly young voice before the car- 
riage stopped, and the very sound brought 
him a feelins^ of comfort. The little o-irl 
could not come to harm in the care of this 
muscular young hero. 

He took as good a view as he could of 
the new arrivals. He could not see much 
of the governess, she went into the inn on 
Pinto's other arm. She was veiled too ; 
but he caught a glimpse of what looked, 
through the gray gauze travelling veil, like 
masses of very fair hair, and he turned his 
glance back to the meadows across the 
stream, with a foolish pang of disappoint- 
]nent at his heart. 

What, then ? Had he really expected 


there was aiiythinc^ in the coincidence of 
names, and of such a name of Smith? 
Assuredly he was drifting into his second 

Well, there was nothing to keep him any 
longer. His charge was safe in the hands 
of her proper protectors ; and he had a 
long, hot walk before him ; the sooner he 
started the better. He would give the 
letter for Pinto into the landlady's keeping 
and slip quietly away, while those people 
upstairs were still busy with their happy 
greetings, too much occupied with their 
own gladness to enquire after him, or give 
a thought in his direction. 

Yes ; in his own mind he was quite de- 
cided that he ought to get away at once ; 
and yet he still sat on, more from a posi- 
tive disinclination to break the exquisite 

246 PE^HALA. 

stillness surrounding him, than from any 
vacillation, any touch of irresolution in his 
purpose. He made a little effort at last, 
and felt for the letter in his pocket, and 
rose, and took his cap off the bench, and 
stood back in the shadow for a moment, to 
watch a trout lying under the ojDposite 
bank of the little river. 

With that curious trick of busying itself 
with trifles, so common to the brain at 
moments of supreme emotion, his mind 
began to occupy itself with the probable 
weight of the fish — to half an ounce he 
tried to decide it — and the circumstances 
of its capture ; whether it would be hooked 
this season or survive until next, whether 
it would fall a prey to the untutored skill 
of one of the village lads, or rejoice the 
heart of some London angler, armed with 


all the latest appliances of the gentle 

He ^vondered a little to see the fish lie 
there, under the bare bank, when he could 
have found jolenty of shadow from the 
bushes a few yards either up or down the 
stream. Perhaps the creature was the 
victim of his own greediness ; possibly he 
had dined, not wisely but too well, off the 
May fly, just now at the height of its 
swarming, and felt as disinclined for action 
as the traditional alderman after a civic 

All the same though, malgre repletion. 
John knew that the moment he moved 
out of the gloom of the arbour into the 
sunlight, there would be a whisk of a 
handsome speckled body, a flash of a sil- 
vern tail, and Mr. Trout would have re- 


nounced his policy of masterly inactivity, 
and taken up a fresh and less assailable 
position, under the shelter of the bushes 
lower down. 

As he stood there, motionless as a statue, 
meaning every instant to move, and yet 
standing on, the silence of the road be- 
yond the high thorn hedge was once more 
broken. This time not by wheels, but by 
voices. The knowledge that the speakers 
were strangers drifted hazily through his 
sense of hearing into his understanding. 
There was no trace of the local accent in 
their speech. The next thing his ears 
told him was that they were Londoners ; 
and the next, that one of them was 
Petrovsky ! 

A sudden darkness closed him in round 
about, and his muscles lost the power to 
hold him upright. 


He dropped back on to the bench, and 
held his breath. 

• This must be the place. Xow mind. 
I don't want the vouno' ladv scared if you 
can possibly manage without it. Get your 
man awav from the house, if vou can, 
before you disclose your business. And 
when you have once got him away, keep 
him away. He can liave mx seat in the 
trap back to Sheffield. I will be there to- 
morrow morning to swear the information 
before the magistrate, and the rest will be 
plain sailing.' 

' Why not come back with us, gov- 

' Because I expect the young lady will 
be left here alone, and I will stay with 
her until the arrival of her friends. 
In any case, I shall spend the night 


They were at the door now; three of 
them. And now the landlady was talking 
to them, in the shadow of the plumy 

' Yes ; she had a lady and a gentleman 
staying in the house. — The gentleman was 
out. — The lady was upstairs. — No ; she 
was not alone ; some friends had just 
arrived from Cornwall.' 

As this answer is given, the listener in 
the arbour almost imagines he sees the 
sudden cloud of a thwarted purpose 
darken the questioner's face. 

' The young lady's father was out walk- 
ing, had been out this last half-hour. No, 
she was not sure which way he had gone. 
Very likely he was in the churchyard ; he 
had a trick of strolling in there. No, of 
course he had not seen the people from 


Cornwall yet. It was scarce ten minutes 
since they had arrived. Something to eat, 
did they want ? She could only offer them 
eggs and bacon, she had no butcher's meat 
in the house, excepting the chops that had 
been ordered for the uj^stairs tea. Yes, 
they could have what they wanted out 
there on the bench if they liked, it was all 
one to her.' 

And so saying she bustled away and 
left them there, clustered round the porch 
in patient waiting. 

Presently, when the clang of a closing 
door, somewhere at the back of the house, 
came echoing out across the afternoon 
stillness, the three men drew closer to- 
gether, and began to talk. So quietly was 
the conversation carried on, that at first 
the listener in the arbour could hear no- 

252 PENH ALA. 

thing. But, after a little, one of them 
moved out a step or two from the house, 
to look up and down the solitary stretch 
of country road ; the front of the house, 
too, he swept with a searching glance, but 
there were no open windows, and his next 
few sentences were spoken in a less 
cautious voice. 

' That was a good idea of yours, Jim, 
having the grub out here. AVe will go 
and meet our man as soon as he's in sight 
— prevent his coming near the house at all. 
You'll stay and settle with the landlady, 
Mr. Petrovsky. Just identify the gentle- 
man, and leave the rest to us. We shall 
do the job better by ourselves.' 

As John listened, the darkness that had 
fallen on him began to clear. As his eye- 
sight came back to him, the first thing he 

PENH ALA. 253 

saw was the trout lying under the oppo- 
site bank. It was with a shock of wonder 
he realised that barely ten minutes had 
passed since he first saw the creature there. 
To him it seemed that ages had gone by 
while he crouched there in the arbour 

The voices on the other side of the 
hedge were still making themselves heard, 
but as his mind recovered its balance, it 
obeyed the first great law of nature, and 
busied itself, to the exclusion of every- 
thing else, with the problem of his self- 

He could get away, even now ! Even 
now, while those blood-hounds were on 
the other side of the hedge watching for 
him, he could leap the river at his feet, 
steal along the opposite hedge-rows, till 


he was beyond range from the inn win- 
dows, and then strike out, across the Peak 
uplands, for the little station of Chapel- 
€n-le-Frith. Once in touch with the Mid- 
land system, and he could ride into 
Manchester, and from thence on to Liver- 
pool, almost before those fools had grown 
tired of watching for his coming on the 
sunny road before the inn. They had 
their eye on Sheffield, therefore Sheffield 
was out of the question; the Hull and 
Antwerp) route must be thrown over, but 
the other was almost as good, perhaps even 

From here to Chapel-en-le-Frith, by 
bee-line across the Peak district, it was 
scarcely more than five miles — he could 
tramp it in an hour-and-a-quarter, he 
would be in Liverpool to-night, and, with 

PENH ALA. 255 

common luck in catching a boat, tie might 
be en route for Xew York before mid-day 

All the fight in him was up in arms. It 
was a match between his wits and those 
others'. At the prospect his spirits rose at 
a bound ; there was still a chance for him 
if he had the courage to take it ; his man- 
hood leapt u^) within him at the call, and 
stood alert and ready to answer to what- 
ever demand his reason should make of it. 

Instinctively and noiselessly he crammed 
his soft cap well down on his head, 
loosened his flowing neck-tie, and tightened 
his belt by a couple of holes. He might 
have to run for it, and it was as well to be 
ready for all emergencies. 

He rose stealthily and stood a moment, to 
steady himself for the run down the bank, 


and the leap to the other side. He drew 
a big breath and set his elbows well into 
his sides, and then, at a touch, his arms 
dropped limp from his shoulders, and his 
muscles, braced for the effort, fell back 
into the laxity of inaction. 

Under the pressure of his elbow a paper 
in his pocket had crackled. His letter 
to Pinto ! The letter warning him against 
the Russian ! 

His thoughts, hitherto absorbed in 
planning his own safety, flew off at a 

Ellaline ! Sweet, lovely, loving little 
Ellaline ! Ellaline, who had offered to 
give up the spring-time of her life to 
him ! 

And he had dreamt for a few moments 
of leaving her there, at Petrovsky's mercy, 
without delivering his message of warning ! 


And yet, if he waited to deliver it, what 
would happen ? He set his teeth hard, 
and drew in a quick, hissing breath. 
Already, in anticipation, he was enduring 
the long drawn-out agony of a trial for 
murder, the misery of the succeeding 
solitude, the horror of the final de- 

Should he go, then ? Make his escape 
while yet there was time, and leave the 
lovable child to her fate ? 

And what if Petrovsky had another of 
those innocent-looking pilules in his 
pocket? And what if he joined that 
happy party upstairs, in the landlady's 
lavender-scented parlour ? And what if 
he sat next the tea-tray and — imssecl the 
Clips ? 

There was nothing improbable in such 
an arrangement ! Xor was it improbable 

VOL. III. s 


that such an arrangement would result in 
the immediate removal of the obstacle, 
which stood between Petrovsky and his 
uncle's wealth — the Avealth which he was 
pledged to obtain, regardless of ways and 

That was what would happen if John 
took his chance now, on the spot. While, 
if he waited 

Standing there in the hot June after- 
noon he shivered, shivered like a lady's 
terrier on a frosty day. 

Did it come to this then — that it was 
his life or the child's ? The child's life 
or his ? 

Was there no alternative but that ? 
None ?j 

And hers promised to be such a happy 
life, and it was all before her ; while his — 


what had it ever been these past twenty- 
years ? What, under the most favourable 
circumstances, was it ever likely to be, 
that he should buy it at such a price ? 
What was it really worth to him ? 

Ah, but it was not his life he was fight- 
ing for, it was the dread of death, of that 
especial form of death, which was urging 
him to escape. If death could come to 
him in a less terrible manner, he would 
meet it like a man. But the death of a 
murderer ? Could he face that ? 

His life or the child's ? The child's life 
or his ? But at least the manner of her 
death would be free from all pain or horror, 
while his ! 

His thoughts came to a sudden halt, 
and sped on again, and his right hand rose 
instinctively to the pocket where Pinto's 

s 2 

260 PENH ALA. 

letter lay ; Pinto's letter, with its en- 
closure ! 

He saw his way through at last 1 

For Ellaline, life ; for himself, escape — 
swift, easy, and painless, and a quarter of 
an hour still at his command, in which to 
strip Petrovsky of his power for future 

Now that he at last saw a way out of his 
difficulties, and knew himself possessed of 
the means to accomplish it, a great wave 
of the love of life — life at any price, life 
under any circumstances — came down on 
him, and tossed him hither and hither, in 
the throes of a stupendous struggle. 
Stupendous while it lasted, but soon over. 

In those few moments of his past mis- 
spent life when he had dared to think, he 
had often wondered why such a wasted life 


as his had ever been begun. And here, at 
last, he was offered a chance of justifying 
his existence. The last act of his life was 
to be the best act. And all dread of the 
great secret dropped from him at the 
thought, and left him calm, and still and 
peaceful. He had never done so well as 
he was doing now, in putting this child's 
life before his own. 

The next moment, as he moved out into 
the sunlight, his shadow fell on the over- 
fed trout, who darted away up-stream at a 
rate of two or three hundred miles an 
hour, to the shelter of the osiers higher up. 
As he stole across the lawn to the little 
garden door, John gave a thought to him. 
By the time that trout met with his own 
especial hook, where and how and what 
would he be ? 


It was a queer idea to come into his^ 
mind ; but his mind was in a condition to 
receive queer ideas. Already the every- 
day world seemed a long way behind 

As he crossed the shadowy little 
passage and crept up the stairs, the voices 
of the men on the bench under the 
chestnut-tree drifted in to him. Only half 
a dozen words he heard. Ten minutes ago 
they would have sent a chill horror 
through him, now he smiled, with the air 
of one who enjoys a secret all to himself. 

' Oh, yes ; it will be a sure swinging 
job,' said the voice. 

John paused a little at the stairhead and 
listened. The tone of certainty in which 
his capture was being discussed, touched 
his sense of humour. After all, it was he 

PENH ALA. 26^ 

who would have the last laugh. As he 
stood there he broke the fastening of his 
letter to Pinto, and took out the little 
enclosure, and, holding it in one hand, and 
putting the letter back in his pocket with 
the other, he moved up the dim passage 
towards the upper end. 

When he reached the parlour door he 
stopped to open the small box ; but the lid 
stuck; and in the momentary lull of move- 
ment, he caught the ring of a voice on the 
other side of the door. Unconsciously his 
fingers relaxed their hold, and the box 
rolled away unopened. 

Without a sound, with no betrayal of 
emotion except for the light in his eyes, he 
turned the handle and strode straight into 
the middle of the pretty, low-ceiled 


He stood there a space, with the after- 
noon radiance full upon hira, and with 
such a light on his face, such a look of 
dazed wonder, that Ellaline and Pinto 
waited speechlessly for what was to 
happen next. 

The ladies were on a couch in a dark 
corner, but they both rose at John's swift 
entrance, and then somebody in the room 
spoke his name. 

' John !' 

It was scarcely more than a whis]3er, 
but a whisper of such an intense, pene- 
trant quality, that it flashed through the 
room like a lio^htninof o^leam, and left 
behind it a still, breathless hush of ex- 

A hush full of the most supreme emo- 
tion — joy, fear, anguish, gladness, what 
was it? 


Mary paused, steadying herself with one 
hand on the couch, the other hand, close 
shut, held hard to her bosom. 

' John !' she whispered again. ' John ! 
Xot dead? Not dead?' 

John looked like a corpse, all but his 
€yes, they burnt and glowed with a light 
wonderful to look upon. 

' It is you !' he said. ' It is Mary ! I 
am glad ! God of heaven, how glad I am! 
To think that we should meet at last, and 
— now. You will shake hands with 

' Xot dead !' she said again. ' Xot dead 
all these weary, wasted years? Oh, my 
love, God has been very cruel to us.' 

He went over to her — they neither of 
them had eyes nor thought for anything 
but each other — and held out his 


' Xo ; not dead ! Did you think 

They stood, hand in hand, devouring one 
another with the eagerness of an affection 
that had never failed. 

' I was told it !' she whispered, her 
faithful, sorrowing eyes fixed on his. ' I 
was told you were killed in the burning 
house. Else why should I not have 
searched you out?' 

A change came over him ; some of the 
keen gladness faded from his glance, some 
of the warmth from his smile. 

^ You have forgotten — it is so long ago 
— you must remember, there were reasons 
w^hy we should keep apart.' 

' No,' she said, breathless still ; ' no, I 
know of no reason. Xone whatever !' 

' Your letter,' he said, quietly. ' Surely 


you remember the reason you gave in the 
letter you left behind ? I have it still — 
no ; I forgot ! I lost it only a day or two 
ago. But I know the very words. Don't 
you recollect speaking of a new love that 
had come into your life?' 


Memory came with a rush and shock 
that staggered her. She took her hand 
from the couch to clasp it with the other 
on his. Tight, tight she strained them 
against her heart, as if to still its mad 

' That new love — did you not under- 
stand? The love of a mother for her 
unborn child— our child, John — yours and 
mine — this child.' 

She held a hand out gropingly to Ella, 
and drew her to her side; she did not seem 


able to move her gaze from the face of 
the man before her. 

He swayed a little, and lifted his eyes 
to look across his wife's shoulder to 
where Pinto stood — the embodiment of 
mute amazement. 

' Our child?' he muttered, as his glance 
came back to hers and Ellaline's, now 
close together. ' Ours ? Mine ? Yours 
and mine ?' 

'You thought— ^/^^^ That I had left 
you for such a reason as that ' 

' Stop !' he cried, suddenly. ' Tell me 
the real history of your disappearance?' 

Without a moment's hesitation, she 
obeyed him. 

' Morelli showed me a marriage certi- 
ficate with your name on it. I thought^ — 
only for the time, I found out the truth 


afterwards — I thought our marriage was 
bigamous ' 

He broke into her explanations with a 
loud laugh, and took his hand from her 
clasp, and glanced again at Pinto. 

^ And there are those who deny the 
punishment of sin !' he cried. ' Tell them 
my story, and dare them to deny any 
longer. I started my downhill course by 
cheating a girl into a sham marriage ; and 
I have been cheated out of my life's happi- 
ness by an unfounded suspicion of the 
same crime. God's own justice !' He 
dropped his voice, and his face grew still, 
as at a touch of solemn thought. ' My 
punishment has reached me here,' he said, 
' so much the more will I hope for peace 
in the lon;^, lon;^ to-come.' 

Mary threw a look towards Fitz, and he 


came at once, and took the sobbing Ella- 
line from her. and moved towards the 
door. John held out his hand as they 

' Kiss me, little daughter !' he said, and 
to her aching heart it seemed as if all the 
lost tenderness of those wasted years, was 
crowded into that one use of the title. 
' Kiss me once ! A full, free kiss ! Stay !' 
h3 cried again, before they reached the 
door, ' this letter, Mr. Pinto — read it. 
Keep her held close to you till you have 
read it. Then guard her as you best know 

He turned then to Mary, and put his 
arms round her, and she laid her gentle 
head on his breast. 

' It is worth all to know this,' he said, 
softly, ' that you were always what I 


thought you. You will think of me now 
and then — you and the child?' 

She thought he was alluding to a re- 
newed separation. 

'How shall I tell you?' she murmured. 
' The joy of it will choke me. I would not 
speak of it before Ella. There is no longer 
any need to hide yourself. Your name is 
cleared of that old shame, John, my dear. 
Edyvean has confessed that his evidence 
at the coroner's inquest was false — made 
a written confession that Hagar Polwhele's 
death was accidental, that you had no 
share in brincrino- it about.' 

He lurched sideways and put a hand to 
his throat ; with the other he held on to 
her shoulder, as if to save himself from 

' Hush I' he said. ' Hush ! I— it is too 

272 PENH ALA. 

much, it — it can't be ! Hush ! Don't 
speak ! Let me steady myself.' 

She waited, trembling. He swung again 
as if he felt the floor swaying under his 
feet. His unconscious grip on her shoulder 
was like a vice, but the pain never reached 
her senses till after. She stood firm, and 
held him. 

' Twenty years !' The words came 
roughened and hoarse, deep, deep in 
his throat. ' Twenty years of darkness 
and now, sudden light ! . . . 
It is like blindness ... It can't be 
true ! it can't be ! . . . God ! if it's a 

The anguish of this was so awful that 
she could not keep silent. 

' It is heaven's own truth, John ! 
Heaven's own truth !' 


' Heaven's own truth !' he echoed^ 
brokenly. ' Heaven's own truth !' 

Repeating the words, as if they held 
some curious power, he grew calmer, and 
walked over to the window, and stood 
looking at the garden below, murmuring 
softly, ' Heaven's own truth. Heaven's 
own truth,' oVer and over again, con- 

He seemed to lose himself there, until, 
presently, Mary moved. He turned at 
once. The sight of her recalled his wan- 
dering thoughts. He went and put her in 
a chair, and fell at her feet, and drooped 
his head on her knee. 

' Twenty years !' he muttered ; ' a long 
sentence — a heavy atonement ! Will it 
suffice? Is my crime to be wi^^ed out at 



Mary laid a tender touch on the gleam- 
ing silver of his hair. 

' At last; she said, softly. ' At last, my 
love !' 



The moment he heard the story Mary had 
to tell, Petrovsky recognised the thorough- 
ness of his defeat, and made his retreat 
without loss of time. 

John yielded himself up to the author- 
ities, and won his way back to a recog- 
nised position among his fellows, through 
the ordeal of a public enquiry. 

His clean-handedness, in this actual 
matter of the murder, being established 
beyond all doubt, to the satisfaction of the 
world at large, that discriminating con- 
geries of intellects decided that the other 

T 2 

276 PENH ALA. 

counts against liim mattered not at all. 
Perhaps, to be more exact, they decided 
that his youthful iniquities had been more 
than atoned for, by the loss of his name 
and position for the best twenty years of 
his life. The result in any case was the 
same. They welcomed his return to his 
rightful place among them with unreserved 

Lady Glenhaggart even conceived the 
scheme of making a lion of him, and 
settled in her own mind that ' his first 
appearances since his resuscitation,' should 
be made at a series of receptions, given 
by her in his honour. Bat when the plan 
was proposed to him, he nearly fainted 
with horror. 

He satisfied himself, at the time, with a 
very outspoken refusal, but the suggestion 
frightened him badly, and he never knew 

PENH ALA. 277 

another really peaceful moment till Ella- 
line's marriage was an accomplished fact, 
and he was safely out of the way, with his 
wife and father, in a quiet, retired little 
nook in the Austrian Tyrol. 

In the autumn, when they went back to 
the House of Penhala, there was bound to 
be some sort of ' homeing,' but they got 
through it as quietly as was possible, and 
settled down at once into the gentle, pleas- 
ant, domestic life, which came so enjoyably 
to them after the tempestuous tossings of 
the past. 

Petrovsky made a good finish. He was 
killed while fighting the police, in defence 
of a secret Xihilistic printing-office in St. 
Petersburg It was the death he would 
have chosen, short of the supreme honour 
of suffering a public execution for the good 
of The Cause. 

278 PENH ALA. 

John read the news in his morning 
paper, which reached Carn Ruth in the 
evening, as he and his father sat over their 
claret one warm night in August. 

He went over the paragraph again aloud, 
and they talked for a few minutes of the 
man who was gone. 

Then there fell a silence, as each 
thought his own thoughts, to the accom- 
paniment of the murmuring pines, and the 
slumberous sighing of the tide under the 

Over the belt of blackness which stretch- 
ed between grassland and sky, the gleam- 
ing stars were pricking their way one by 
one into sight. On the western face of 
the house the firmament was still lumin- 
ous, and here the evening star was the 
only one that had as yet conquered the 
dying daylight. 


Mary was singing softly to herself at 
the piano, just inside the open windows. 
Her voice, low, but full and sweet exceed- 
ingly because of its heart's music, reached 
the two men round the other side of the 

' Come,' said the old man, breaking with 
a visible relief the silence that had fallen 
between them, ' let us go to Mary. She 
will drive away our touch of gloom.' 

John rose willingly. They were never 
so happy as when together, those three. 


London : Printed hy Duncan MacdoncUd^ Blenheim. House., W. 












FIFTY YEARS OF MY LIFE, In the World of 

Spoet at Ho3ie axd Abroad. By Sm Johx Dugdalb Astley, 
Bart. (The Mate.) Dedicated by permission to H.R.H. the 
Prince of Wales. 1 vol. crovm 6vo. With Portrait. 63. 

""We never read a book into the treasures and attractions of which it is more 
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will for long rank as a standard in sporting literature, he may expect, especially 
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NEW WORKS— Continued. 

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great English poet'— r^e Times. 



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reverent and serious s^iviV— Quarterly Review. 



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to this very readable book." — Athenaeum. 



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on every drawing-room table. Here you have nearly fifty captivating romances with lue 
pith of all their interest preserved in undiminished poignancy, and any one may be read 
in balf-an-hoar." — Standard. 





"This is a very admirable work. The reader is from the first carried away by the 
gallant unconventionality of its author. 'Donovan' is a very excellent novel; but is ia 
comething more and better. It should do as much good as the best sermon ever written 
or delivered extempore. The story is told with a grand simplicity, an unconscious poetry 
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is a wide humanity in the book that cannot fail to accomplish its author's purpose."— 
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—the little impulsive French heroine, who endures their cold hospitality and at last wins 
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and marring of marriage is not, after all, the sum total of real Hie."— Academy. 


" All the auiet humour we praised in ' Donovan ' is to be found in the new story. And 
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her picture is always alive with vividness and gr&ce:'— Athenaeum. 


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prosperous, popular authorship which she had tilled so successfully. She again affronts 
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thorny path of the historical novel in which so many have failed before her. That ' glory 
of warrior, glory of orator, glory of song," John Hampden, lives again, to a certain extent, 
in that dirii half light of posthumous research and loving and enthusiastic imagination 
which is all the no^ve ist can do for these great figures of the past, resurrected to make the 
plot of a modern novel" — Black and White. 


Each in One Volume, Crown Octavo, 3s. dd. 


By Beatrice TThitby. 

""We have no hesitation in declaring that ' The Awakening of Mary Fenwick ' is thft 
best novel of its kind that we have seen for some years. It is apparently a first effort, 
and, as such, is really remarkable. The story is extremely simple. Mary Mauser marries 
her husband for external, and perhaps rather inadequate, reasons, and then discovers 
that he married her because she was an heiress. Sbe feels the indignity acutely, and 
does not scruple to tell him her opinion— her very candid opinion— of his behaviour. That 
is the effect of the first few chapters, and the rest of Miss Whithva book is devoted to 
relating how this divided couple hated, quarrelled, and finally fell in love with one another. 
Mary Fenwick and her husband live and move and make us believe in them in a way 
which few but the great masters of fiction have been able to compass."— ^^AenauT/L 


By Mabel Hart. 

"This story is distinguished by its pure and elegant English, and the refinement of its 
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"Beatrice Hamlyn is an emancipated young woman of the most pleasing type, and her 
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lutelv fair and just, and •- > good qualities of both parties are done justice to. Not that 
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be met with every day, and consequently deserves a considerable meed of praise."— TTorZc?. 

'• The characters are so brightly and vividly conceived, and the complications which go 
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becomes richer and'"—Acadimy. 


By the Author of ' Vera,' * Blue Roses/ Etc. 

"A story of sustained power from beginning to end. it is put together according to the 
true principles of art; moreover, we congratulate the author upon her hero and heroine. 
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faith, recalls some of the happiest touches in the Lucia of the immortal 'Promessi SposL' " 
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'' 'Ninette' Is evidently based on long and intimate acquaintance with French rural 
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work, as well as the most interesting as a story. Starting from a point so common as the 
suppression of a will, the reader before long finds himself following her into the least ex- 
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"Our old friend the governess makes a re-entry into fiction under the auspices of Bea- 
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more interest, for once, in the children than in their instructress. ' Bay ' and 'EUie ' are 
charmingly natural additions to the children of novel-land; so much so, that there is a 
period when one dreads a death-bed scene for one of them— a fear which is happily un- 
lulfilled. The name of the authoress svili be remembered by many in conjunction with 
' The Awakening of Mary Fenwick.' "—Graphic. 

"Every page of ' One Reason Why ' shows the mark of a fresh, vigorous mind. The 
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Each in One Volume Croicn Octavo, os. K>d. 


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"Mr. Manville Fenn has the gift of not only seeing truth, but of drawing it pictur- 
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she is a being of one idea, and that idea is her child. To keep her away from the island, 
to have her brought up as a lady, it is for this that Nousie has opened a cabaret for the 
negroes and has sat at the receipt of custom herself. Of course she never once ttinks of 
the shock that the girl must undergo when she is plunged suddenly into such a position, 
she never thinks about anything but the fact that she is to have her child again. Her 
gradual awakening, and the struggles of both mother and daughter to hide their pain, are 
finely told. So is the story of how they both remained ' faithful unto death.' History has 
a power to charm which is often lacking in tales of higher pretensions."— ^faiwrday Review. 


By G. M. KoBiNS. 

" ' The Ides of March ' is a capital book. The plot does not depend for its interest upon 
anything more fantastic than an old gentleman's belief that a family curse will take effect 
unless his son marries by a given date. The complications which arise from this son's 
being really in love with a girl whom he believes to have treated his friend, Captain Dis- 
ney, very badly, and getting engaged to another girl, who transfers her affections to the- 
same Captain Disney, are skilfully worked out, while the dialogue is, in parts, extremely 
bright, and the description of the founding of the Norcheater branch of the Women's 
Sanitary League really funny." — Literary World 

" ' The Ides of March,' in spite of its classical name, is a story of the present time, and 
a very good one, full of lively conversation, which carries us merrily on, and not without 
a fund of deeper feeling and higher principle." — Guardian. 


By Beatrice "Whitby. 

*' The book is a thoroughly good one. The theme is fairly familiar,— the rebellion of a 
spirited girl against a match which has been arranged for her without her knowledge or 
consent ; her resentment at being treated, not as a woman with a heart and will, but as 
'part of the property'; and her final discovery, which is led up to with real dramatic skill, 
that the thing against which her whole nature had risen in revolt has become the one 
desire of her heart. The mutual relations each to each of the impetuous Madge, her self- 
willed, stubborn grandfather, who has arranged the match, and her lover Jocelyn, with 
his loyal, devoted, sweetly-balanced nature, are portrayed with fine truth of insight ; but 
perhaps the author's greatest triumph is the portrait of Mrs. Lindsay, who, with the 
knowledge of the terrible skeleton in the cupboard of her apparently happy home, wears 
so bravely the mask of light gaiety as to deceive everybody but the one man who knows 
her secret It is refreshing to read a novel in which there is not a trace of slipshod work." 


By Adeline Sergeant. 

" 'Caspar Brooke's Daughter' is as good as other stories from the same hand — perhaps 
better. It is not of the sort that has much really marked originality or force of style, yet 
tbere is a good deal of clever treatment in it. It was quite on the cards that Caspar him- 
self might prove a bore or a prig or something else equally annoying. His daughter, too 
— the fair and innocent convent-bred girl— would in some hands have been really tedious. 
The diflaculties of the leading situation — a daughter obliged to pass from one parent to 
another on account of their ' incompatibility ' — are cleverly conveyed. The wife's as well 
as the husband's part is treated with feeling and reticence — qualities which towards the 
end disappear to a certain extent. It is a story in some ways — not in all — above the 
average." — Athemeum. 


Each in One Volume, Crown Octavo, 3s. ^d. 


By Mrs. Oliphant. 

" 'Janet ' is one of the ablest of the author's recent novels ; perhaps the ablest book of 
the kind that she has produced since the Carlingford series; and its ability is all the more 
striking because, while the character material is so simple, it is made to yield, without 
any forced manipulation, a product of story which is rich in strong dramatic situations. ' 
— Manchester Examiner. 

"Mrs. Oliphant's hand has lost none of its cunning, despite her extraordinary — and, one 
would think, exhausting — industry. 'Janet' may fairly rank among the best of her recent 
productions." — St. James's Gazette. 

"'Janet' is really an exciting story, and contains a great deal more plot and incident 
than has been the case in any of Mrs. uliphanfs recent novels. The character sketches 
are worthy of their authorship. " — Queen. 


By the Author of ' ]\Iistress Beatrice Cope.' 

"In common, we should imagine with a large circle of novel-readers, we have been 
rather impatiently looking forward to the time when M. E. Le Clerc, the author of ' Mis- 
tress Beatrice Cope,' would produce a successor to that singularly interesting and charm- 
ing tale. 'A Rainbow at Night,' though it certainly lacks the romantic and dramatic 
character, combined with the flavour of a fascinating period, which gave special distinc- 
tion to its forerimner, has no trace of falling off in the essential matters of construction, 
portraiture, and Btjle."—(rraphic. 

"Thanks to an interesting plot and a graphic as well as refined manner, 'A Rainbow at 
Night,' when once commenced, will not readily be laid aside." — Morning Post. 


By Beatrice Whitby. 

"A description of a home stripped by the cold wind of poverty of all its comforts, but 
which remains home still. The careless optimism of the head of the family would be in- 
credible, if we did not know how men exist full of responsibilities yet free from solici- 
tudes, and who tread with a jaunty step the very verge of ruin; his inconsolable widow 
would be equally improbable, if we did not meet every day with women who devote them- 
selves to such idols of clay. The characters of their charming children, whose penury we 
deplore do not deteriorate, as often happens in that cruel ordeal. A sense of fairness 
pervades the book which is rarely found in the work of a lady. There is interest in it 
from first to last, and its pathos is relieved by touches of true humoxiT."— Illustrated 
London News. 


By Mrs. Molesworth. 

" Mrs. Molesworth has long established a reputation as one of the freshest and most 
graceful of contemporaneous writers of light fiction; but in ' Miss Bouverie ' she has sur- 
passed herself, and it is no exaggeration to say that this is one of the prettiest stories which 
has appeared for years." — Morning Post. 

" Everyone knows Mrs. Molesworth by her exquisite Christmas stories for children, and 
can guegs that any novel she writes is interesting, without sensationalism. The refine- 
ment which pervades all Mrs. Molesworth's stories comes evidently from a pure, spiritual 
nature, which imconsciously raises the reader's tone of thought, without any approach to 
didactic writing." — Spectator. 


Each in One Volume.^ Croim Octavo, 3s. Qd. 


By the Author of ' Two English Girls.' 

"The accomplished author of 'Two English Girls ' has produced another novel of con- 
siderable merit. The story is one of a rural district in England, into which there intro- 
duces himself one day a foot-sore, hungry, sick tramp, who turns out to be a young man 
of education and consideration, whose career in the past is strange, and whose career in 
the future the author has depicted as stranger still. The writer is successful chiefly in the 
excellent life-like pictures which she presents of Eose Purley, the young lady who man- 
ages the farm, and of the village doctor, Gabriel Armstrong. The book is one which may 
be read with pleasure."—- ScofiTnan. 


By the Author of ' Dr. Edith Romney.' 

"It is the writing of one who is determined, by dint of conscientious and painstaking 
work, to w'n success from that portion of the public that does not look for the brilliant 
achievements of genius, but can recognise meritorious work. The tale is an agreeable 
one. and the character of Mr. Beresford is admirably drawn, showing considerable in- 
sight and understanding. The author has a steady mastery over the story she wishes 
to tell, and she tells it clearly and eloquently, without hesitation and without prolixity. 
The book has this merit — the first merit of a novel— that the reader is interested in the 
people rather than the plot, and that he watches the development of cliaracter ratlifir 
than that of ejenV—Literary World. 


By Adeline Sergeant. 

" It is a good story of the kind (and, on the whole, the excellent and wholesome kind) 
■which Miss Adeline Sergeant publishes at intervals with almost mechanical regularity. 
Sir Anthony introduces two mysterious children, Henry and Elfrida, into his house, and 
compels his wife, whom he dislikes, to protect and virtually adopt them. In due course 
he tells these children, in his own vigorous Anglo-Saxon, 'You two are my eldest son 
and daughter, lawfully begotten of my wife, once Mary Derrick, and known afterwards 
as Mary Paston. You will be Sir Henry Kesterton when I die, and Elfrida is heiress 
to her grandmother's money and jewels.' Lady Kesterton overhears this terrible 
statement. He repeats it in a still more offensive form. Thereupon she gives liim an 
overdose of chloral, and fights desperately, and with temporary success, for what she re- 
gards as the rights of her children, but especially of her son Gerard. Failure overtakes 
her, and Elfrida, though not poor Henry, comes by her own. The plot is good and 
thoroughly sustained from first to IslbV— Academy 


By Beatrice Whitby. 

"This is one of the most delightful novels we have read for a long time. 'Bab ' Fen- 
wick is an ' out of doors ' kind of girl, full of spirit, wit, go, and sin, both original and 
acquired. Her lover. Jack, Is all that a hero should be, and great and magnanimous as 
he is, finds some difficulty in forgiving the insouciante mistress all her little sins of omis- 
sion and commission. When she finally shoots him ia the leg— by accident— ih'^ real 
tragedy of the story begins. The whole is admirable, if a little long:'— Black and White. 


In One Volume^ Crown Octavo, os. 6c?. 






• We can congratulate the author on the production of a book at once amusing, interest- 
ing, and graphic, which has already obtained considerable popularity,"— ^tAfnceum. 

" The story is one crammed full of adventure, and the chapters that deal with the 
problems of Imperial Federation are decidedly good reading from the patriotic stand- 
point"— Z>ai7j/ Telegraph, 

"The book might well be placed in the hands of boys, who would enjoy the sympathetic 
descriptions of football matches, races, and so forth, and at the same time make an 
agreeable acquaintance with an important part of our Imperial possessions." — The Globe. 

" ' Thunderbolt ' is an Australian rival of Claude Duval, and Mr. Macdonald records his 
daring feats with unflagging verve. Never was police officer more defled nor bewildered 
than the Major Devereux, of brilliant Indian reputation, who, in the Australian bush, 
finds that to catch a robber of Thunderbolt's temperament and ability requires local 
knowledge, as well as other gifts undreamt-of by the Hussar officer. Thunderbolt goes 
to races under the Major's nose, dances in the houses of his friends, robs Her Majesty's 
mails and diverse banks, but conducts himself with (on occasion) the chivalrous cour- 
tesy that characterised his prototype. His tragical end is told with spirit, while the book 
has excellent descriptions of Australian life, both in town and country."— i/omt>j^ Post. 

" Anything which tends to draw nearer to each other in knowledge and sympathy the 
members of the British Empire is good; therefore we commend Mr. Macdonald's object in 
writing this book. Though confessedly a story of a bushranger, the book contains many 
descriptions of Australian life, both domestic and political, and it discusses local, social, 
and imperial questions by the mouths of its characters. Mr. Macdonald is an Australian 
bom and bred, and he gives us plenty of ' local colour.' Though a parson, ho is far from 
squeamish, and his language is doubtless racy of the new country which he represents, 
and there are several tales told at the expense of the 'cloth.' The story of the famous 
bushranger. Thunderbolt, is told with considerable detail ; though we doubt if such a 
blood-spilling robber would have behaved with quite such exemplary gallantry to ladies 
as he is represented to have done. There are plenty of exciting incidents, including the 
'bailing up' of banks, and the 'sticking up' of farms and public houses, lots of love- 
making, and some clever characterization. Though the book has some defects, it yet 
shows close observation, much sympathy, and considerable narrative power, and we shall 
look forward with pleasure and interest to Mr. Macdonald's next venture. * Thunderbolt ' 
is issued in one volume at 3a 6d., and is therefore quite 'up to date ' in its form. Ii caa 
can be heartily recommended to all lovers of a good exciting story,"— ^;?. James Budget. 




JANET DELILLE. By E. N. Leigh Fry, Author of 

' A Scots Thistle,' &c. 2 vols. 
""We like ' Janet Delille ' as a novel, and no reader will feel his time wasted in 
perusing it, which cannot in truth be said of most no\elB."—Olasgow Herald. 

IN CUPID'S COLLEGE. By Mabel Hart, Author 

of ' Two English Girls,' ' From Harvest to Haytime.' 3 vols. 
"The writing is always bright and pleasant, the dialogues are natural and 
characteristic, and some of the situations are exceedingly pathetic. ' In Cupid's 
College ' is well above the average novel in tone, in feeling, and in writing." — 
Literary World. 

HETTY'S HERITAGE. By Noel Dene, Author 

of ' The Aftermath.' 2 vols. 
"Simple in manner, 'Hetty's Heritage 'has an interesting and well-sustained 
plot, while the number of personages is wisely limited to that necessary for its 
development"— i^omin^ Post. 


Author of ' Cathedral Bells,' ' Wrong on both Sides,' &c. 3 vols. 
" 'The White Aigrette ' should find favour with the old-ideal haunter of circu- 
lating libraries, and to such an one, if she still exist, we commend it " — Atkemeum. 

THE PRICE OF A PEARL. By Eleanor Holmes, 

Author of ' Through Another Man's Eyes,' &c. 3 vols. 
" The story is very pleasantly told, for the authoress has the knack of present- 
ing even the most trivial details of her scheme in language that is always redned 
and telling." — Daily Telegraph. 

GOOD DAME FORTUNE. By Maria A. Hoyer. 

3 vols. 
' 'Good Dame Fortune' is the delightful story of a perfectly charming young 
English giv\."— Daily Telegraph. 

BROKEN FORTUNES. By Hexry Cresswell, 

Author of ' A Modern Greek Heroine,' ' A Wily Widow,' &c. 3 vols. 
"The novel, whatever its imperfections, is not only clever, but engrossing, and 
bears many marks of Mr. Cresswell's ariistic touch. " — Morning Post. 

IN AN ALPINE VALLEY. By G. Max-^ille Fexx, 

Author of ' The Master of the Ceremonies,' (tec. 3 vols. 
" Mr. Fenn knows how to amuse, and he carries his rer.ders along with him to 
his triumphant finish."— .4 ^/j«iajum. 


GissisG, Author of 'A Moorland Idyl,' &c. 3 vols. 
"Mr. Gissing is a clever writer, and his new story is smart, original, and 
■^iqxxaxit."— Scotsman. 

CHRISTINE. By Adelixe Sergeant, Author of 

' Caspar Brooke's Daughter,' ' Sir Anthony,' &c. 3 vols. 
" Told with the alertness and vigour which invariably characterise Miss Ser- 
geant's y}Qv\i."'— Athenaeum. 

A HEART'S REVENGE. By B. Loftus Totten- 

HAM, Author of ' More Kin than Kind.' 3 vols. 
"As far as ingenuity of construction and originality of plot are concerned, ' A 
Heart's Revenge ' may be pronounced considerably above the average of con- 
temporary novels."— ZJaiZi/ Telegraph. 



IN A NEW WORLD. By Mrs. HAx\s Blackwood. 

1 vol. (Now first published.) Price 6s. 

VENTURED IN VAIN. By Reginald E. Salwey, 

Author of ' The Finger of Scorn,' ' Wildwater Terrace,' &c. 2 vols. 

ADAM THE GARDENER. By Mrs. Stephen Batson, 

Author of ' Dark : a Tale of the Down Country,' &c. 3 vols. 
"Mrs. Batson's story is not merely a piece of exceedingly agreeable fiction, it is 
also a contribution of value to the vexed question of the democratic possibilities 
of our race." — Globe. 

ST. MAUR. By Adeline Sergeant, Author of 

* Caspar Brooke's Daughter,' ' Sir Anthony,' &c. 3 vols. 
"It would be unjust to deny that 'Stilaur' is an excellent specimen of its 
class, and will be read with much more delight and avidity than the average 
three-volume novel." — Glasgow Herald. 

SUIT AND SERVICE. By Mrs. Herbert Martin, 

Author of 'Bonnie Lesley,' ' Britomart,' &c. 2 vols. 

A VAGABOND IN ARTS. By Algernon Gissing, 

Author of ' A Moorland Idyl,' &c. 3 vols. 
'There is much profound thought and brilliant writing in "A Vagabond in 
Arts." ' — Daily Telegraph. 


HESTER, Author of ' Yiva,' ' My Lord and My Lady,' &c. 2 vols. 


Lucas. 3 vols. 
' An interesting novel, with a careful plot, which the author manages so well as 
never to let it get contvise±' —Glasgoic Herald. 


Whitby, Author of ' The Awakening of Mary Fenwick,' ' One 

Reason Why,' &c. Third Edition. 3 vols. 
' The atmosphere of this novel is delicious, and the tone is as pure as the soft 
air of Devon which blows over the hills and valleys, the gardens and meadows, 
in which the scene is set.'— Ladi/'s Pictorial. 

SHALLOWS. By Myra Swan. 2 vols. 

' The book has very pretty pictures of Thames scenery, not the less welcome 
because familiar.' — Morning Post. 

THE FOOL OF DESTINY. By Colin Middleton, 

Author of ' Inues of Blairavon.' 3 vols. 
"A pleasant and well-written novel." — Glasgow Herald. 


Author of ' Some Married Fellows,' &c. 3 vols. 
"Mrs. Venn's book is eminently readable, in virtue of the striking characteri- 
Fations and brilliant dialogue with which it teems from beginniug to end." — 
Daily Telegraph. 

ORCHARD DAMEREL. By Alan St. Aubyn, Author 

of ' A Fellow of Trinity,' 'An Old Maid's Sweetheart,' &c. 3 vols. 
'Taken altogether, the work^is the strongest that has come from the author's 
pen, and does not gain its strength by any abandonment of the peculiar refine- 
ment which characterises this writer's books. It la a thoroughly enjoyable 
Biory.!'— Scotsman. 

B23R541P C001 v.3 
Penhala a wayside wizard 

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